Dlamini-Zuma allays harder lockdown fears after elections, tells ANC supporters to come out in numbers
THE MINISTER of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has allayed fears that the country is headed for immediate and stricter lockdown, calming the nerves of South Africans.
Dlamini Zuma, whose department is responsible for formulating lockdown regulations, said a harder lockdown was not on the cards primarily because the current Covid-19 figures are too low for them to start pressing the panic button.
She said if South Africans can stick to observing all the Covid-19 protocols put in place, like wearing masks at all times when in public spaces and sanitising, their Christmas may be brighter with fewer restrictions.
Dlamini Zuma made these remarks to Independent Media in Ballito shortly after casting her special vote yesterday, the first day for special votes. Those who would be voting this weekend are those who will be working on voting day and will not be in their usual places or those who are too ill to travel and stand in long queues (they are visited at home).
According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa, countrywide, over 1.1 million voters are registered for special votes, and in KwaZulu-Natal alone 162 611 are registered to cast special votes.
Her assurance comes as some fear that the packed political rallies in the run-up to the elections on Monday could be super spreader events that could trigger the National Coronavirus Command Council to impose the harder lockdown after the elections.
On Friday the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phahlaa, added to the anxiety of the lockdown-weary nation by saying he fears that the next three days could push up the figures and implied that it could force the government’s hand.
“A lockdown is not a random action, we look at the figures, how many people are getting infected, we get advice from (the department of) health, we get advice from the advisory council. So if the figures remain as they are, there shouldn’t be any harder lockdown. So, it will depend on how the figures behave,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
Before casting her special vote in Ballito, Dlamini Zuma visited five voting stations in Durban and said she observed a very slow start but she hoped that as the day progressed, things would pick up.
“There was a slow start, things didn’t start at 8(am), the (voting) material was coming slowly. I think by now (12pm) it should be okay,” she said.
She then spent considerable time interacting with ANC members who were outside the voting station and pleaded with them to go out in their number on Monday and vote so that the ruling party could retain its grip on power in most municipalities.
“Let us go all out and vote for the ANC which is everywhere. Is that so? Monday is the day for all of us to vote for the ANC at the polls,” she said.
Dlamini Zuma, who hails from Bulwer in the south of KwaZulu-Natal, lives in the exclusive and gated estate of Zimbali, near Ballito, hence she is registered to vote there. The rich suburb falling under the ANC run KwaDukuza (Stanger) municipality is a DA stronghold.
This sstory was published by News24