Government’s extension of national state of disaster leaves nation in shock

The government on Tuesday announced the extension of the national state of disaster to April 15, sowing divisions and ruffling some feathers along the way, as many people had hoped for a dawn of a new chapter when Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, took the podium to make the announcement.

Randall Williams, the City of Tshwane mayor, tweeted that the extension is “totally irrational”.

Williams wrote: “There was no consultation on this matter. It is deeply frustrating that the national government continues to hamper post-Covid economic recovery and growth in the country.”

Wits University professor Shabir Madhi, who has been instrumental in the fight against the pandemic, said the decision to extend the national state of disaster is indicative of National Coronavirus Command Council being devoid of any understanding of the pandemic.

Madhi wrote: “Somehow foolishly still believes in being able to prevent infections. Predictable given its record.”

Ian Cameron, the spokesperson on community safety for ActionSocietySA, also expressed his dissatisfaction, saying the move is nothing but an attempted show of force by a group of power-hungry petty socialists under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC.

While former DA leader Mmusi Maimane accused the government of overreaching and overextending its powers. “End the national state of disaster,” wrote Maimane on his social media account.

“We should never be comfortable with emergency powers being extended any second longer than absolutely necessary.”

Pressure mounts on government to scrap the national state of disaster

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