While Cabinet has welcomed the country’s move to alert level 2 of the lockdown, the executive has warned that the fight against the virus could be hindered by the reckless behaviour of some in society.
The view was on Thursday relayed by Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, during a post-Cabinet press briefing.
Mthembu said Cabinet is of the firm view that the move to level 2 from 18 August has resulted in the welcomed relaxation of restrictions on even more socio-economic activities.
This significant transition, he said, will inevitably lead towards the recovery of the country’s economy, as well as the creation of much-needed jobs, particularly in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Cabinet acknowledged that while some countries had experienced a second wave of the virus, something that is an ever-present possibility in South Africa, the country’s collective efforts in the next few weeks could quell this threat.
“That will determine how we move [going] forward,” Mthembu said.
Cabinet during its meeting called on every member of society to take further precaution and practice responsible behaviour.
“Do the right thing to avoid a second peak. Government is working with social partners and communities to ensure that districts are adequately resourced and organised to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
“Our nation has made significant strides in fighting the pandemic… It is because of all our… contributions that we have seen infections going down in our country, and we are proud that we have been able to confront this disease,” Mthembu said.
Cabinet, however, agreed that the disease has not been defeated.
“Our work is being defeated by the reckless behaviour of people who refuse to play a role in curbing the spread of Coronavirus.
“Those who drive under the influence of alcohol and behave recklessly are endangering the lives of innocent people.
“As a result of such reckless behaviour, this week we mourn the untimely death of three Tshwane Metro Police Department officers, who lost their lives in a tragic crash with a drunk driver.
“This fatal accident is a wakeup call to all of us, individually and collectively, to reflect on what we can do to act responsibly and play our part in curbing alcohol abuse,” said Mthembu.
Cabinet urged South Africans to continue observing health protocols, even during alert level 2.
“That we are in level 2 does not mean the threat of infection has disappeared. We must all maintain social-distancing, wear our masks regularly and regularly wash our hands or use an alcohol-based hand-sanitiser,” said the Mthembu.
This, he said, will see the country make great strides towards avoiding a second wave of infection.