Addressing the nation on Thursday evening, President Ramaphosa thanked the majority of citizens for staying in their homes during a difficult time. Despite a few hiccups with some branches of law enforcement, the president maintains that lockdown is doing its job – which is all the more reason to extend it.
“Simply put, if we end the lockdown too soon, or too abruptly, we risk a massive and uncontrollable resurgence of the disease. We risk reversing the gains that we have made over the last few weeks, and rendering meaningless the great sacrifices that we have all made.
“We did not take this decision to extend the lockdown lightly. As your president, I am mindful of the great and heavy burden this will impose on you. I am keenly aware of the impact this will have on our economy. But I know, as you do, that unless we take these difficult measures now, unless we hold this course for a little longer, the coronavirus pandemic will ultimately come to our country.”
Lockdown was due to end on Friday 17 April. Under the new two-week extension, that brings us to Friday 1 May. The intense conditions of this home confinement remain in place, as Mzansi continues its aggressive strategy to beat the killer disease which has reached every corner of the world. According to the Preident’s statement, one of the many sacrifices included the salary cut that many ministers would have to endure for the next three months and it includes he himself taking a pay cut.
“In support of this effort, we have decided that the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers will each take a one-third cut in their salaries for the next three months,”
“This portion of their salaries will be donated to the Solidarity Fund. We are calling on other public office bearers and executives of large companies to make a similar gesture and to further increase the reach of this national effort,” said Ramaphosa.