KZN hits the brakes on big events as COVID-19 cases rise

Johannesburg – KwaZulu-Natal is discouraging the hosting of major events during the festive season, as the country works around the clock to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Provincial Executive Council (PEC) of KwaZulu-Natal, chaired by Premier Sihle Zikalala, said it was determined to save lives, as the number of cases peak in the province.

“The Executive Council, on the advice of medical and scientific practitioners, resolved not to encourage the hosting of major events in the province, owing to the threat and risks imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Zikalala said on Wednesday.

The PEC has also reminded citizens that the country is still under lockdown and the state of disaster is still in place.

“People are encouraged to visit and enjoy the province of KwaZulu-Natal. They can hold small family activities without compromising the disaster management regulations,” Zikalala said.

KwaZulu-Natal recorded 544 new cases on Wednesday and ranks the fourth highest in terms of the number of laboratory-confirmed cases countrywide, contributing to 16% (128 697) of the total cases countrywide.

Zikalala said while government understands the social and economic impact of not hosting major events at popular locations during the festive season, citizens’ lives matter and need to be protected.

“The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal has a duty to protect the lives of citizens and does not want to make decisions that may be regretted later.”

He said the PEC sub-committee will communicate which major events organisers will be impacted and will inform the stakeholders on this decision.

COVID-19 contract workers

Meanwhile, the contracts of 7 051 employees, who were employed for six months to strengthen the fight against Coronavirus, has been extended.

Zikalala said the retention of staff members for a further six months to work on COVID-19 sites is a major boost to the province’s COVID-19 resurgence plans.

“It will ensure that the province is equal to the task in the event that the country is hit by a second wave of this deadly and incurable virus,” said the Premier, adding that contracts will now end in March 2021.

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