Premier Alan Winde’s push for the Western Cape to move to level 3 of the lockdown, together with a hotspot plan, has been criticised by opposition parties and civil society.
Winde said: “With our health-care system prepared, it is simply no longer possible to maintain level 4 restrictions anywhere in South Africa.
“In conjunction with the determined enforcement of this hotspot plan, alert level 3 should be adopted for the entire Western Cape.”
But the ANC’s Cameron Dugmore said: “The premier’s call is reckless and is clearly driven by a DA agenda, an agenda of exceptionalism (and) which places economic recovery at the expense of people’s lives.”
“The ANC will from next week begin a process of consultation with business, labour and civil society. Our objective is to find the best solution which places people’s lives first, while at the same time beginning the targeted opening of the economy.”
The Good Party’s Brett Herron added: “We would all love to move to level 3, but it is obvious to any rational person that cannot happen for as long as our trajectory is showing a spike in infections and deaths.
“If the province doesn’t move to level 3 because we have not slowed our infection rate down, then the DA and it’s cavalier attitude to the lockdown regulations and the medical protocols must bear some responsibility.”
The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego said: “The premier’s position on this issue is in sharp contrast with that of National Health Minister Zweli Mkhize when he visited the Western Cape recently.
“Our view is that the premier is just desperate to resume economic activities at all costs, even if that would have a negative health impact on the lives of the majority of the people in the province.”
Zuko Mndayi, spokesperson for the South African Youth Council in the province, said: “We are convinced that Premier Alan Winde is in denial.
“We wish to remind him that while he speaks from the comfort of his opulent home, that’s conducive for self-quarantine, there are districts with no quarantine sites or health centres. Police stations are closing due to the virus, cluster transmissions are still prevalent in retail stores, and people are losing their lives due to contracting the virus.”