WC and GP talk about a move to Level 3

The Western Cape currently has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said infections are mostly concentrated in a few metropolitan municipalities and districts in the country. Image: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

As the government prepares to move large parts of the country into lockdown alert level three, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has made a case for why the province should move to lockdown Level 3 in its entirety – despite it having the highest rate of Covid-19 infections in the country.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier David Makhura has told his provincial legislature that the province will move to alert Level 3 in June and not in a piecemeal manner.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that “most parts of the country” would be eased into alert level three last week he underscored that parts of the country with the highest infections will remain on level 4, albeit with relaxed regulations on business activities. The government has been holding consultations with various stakeholders in government, business, labour and communities over the proposal. 

Western Cape 

On Tuesday Winde released a statement outlining the “targeted hotspot strategy” that the province has adopted to respond to the rising cases of Covid-19, which now total over 10 000.

The strategy – which covers health, economic and social interventions– goes “beyond district level” by using epidemiological data to zone in government efforts into areas where the virus is spreading. Winde believes that the intervention is enough for the province to move to alert Level 3, which would allow more economic activity “thereby preventing a severe humanitarian crisis from unfolding at the same time”. 

This plan was presented at the President’s Coordinating Council this weekend.

The province’s Economic Development and Tourism department estimates that even as the country gradually lifts restrictions, over 200 000 jobs will be lost in the province due to the hard lockdown and the alert level 4 restrictions.

“The situation will be even worse if we stay on Alert Level 4 and businesses are forced to stay closed,” said Winde. 

The Western Cape anticipates that at the peak of the pandemic there will be 200 admissions and equal discharges of Covid-19 patients per day.

To prepare for this it is currently working on converting the Cape Town International Convention Centre into a temporary hospital with 850 beds. 

At the same time, Winde said extra temporary hospitals would be erected along the R300 in the metro, in Khayelitsha and in the Cape Winelands, providing 616 beds.

This is in addition to the 2 162 general care beds and 150 ICU beds that exist in hospitals across the province. There are currently 432 ventilators in the Western Cape and 100 more have been ordered for use during the peak. There are plans to realise an additional 2 292 beds for the quarantine and isolation of patients in addition to the 2 365 beds which are already there. 

Read: Counting the economic cost of South Africa’s lockdown

“This is not a zero-sum game. We can care for sick people and save lives now, and we can do it in a way that saves lives in the future too,” said Winde. “We must remember that the scientific reason for the lockdown has been to allow us time to prepare for the peak of the pandemic.”

“Covid-19 cannot be stopped, and many people will be infected over the coming weeks.

“The key measure that must be used to determine levels is whether we are prepared to provide care to every person who needs it at the time they need it,” he said.

Gauteng 

Similarly Makhura said Gauteng, which contributes 34% to the national economy, would migrate to Level 3 in June and this would not be done in a “disjointed” manner. 

“We cannot have one municipality or metro in Level 4 and other in Level 3 or 2. The districts are highly integrated. We are going to Level 3 together,” said Makhura, while answering questions in the provincial legislature.

Makhura said different sectors are being prepared for the ease in restrictions and would be assessed to determine which ones are compliant with the World Health Organisation’s requirements. He said the retail sector that was responsible for the spread of the pandemic in Cape Town through supermarkets would be under scrutiny, as well as the public transport sector.

At the time of writing Gauteng, formerly the epicentre of the virus, had 2 343 confirmed cases. The second highest in the country.

Makhura said according to the province’s modelling, the economic depression caused by Covid-19 will have a severe impact on employment: causing 900 000 job losses in the best-case scenario and up to two million jobs lost in the worst-case scenario.

He said social distancing has proven difficult in densely-populated areas such as townships and informal settlements and as a result, there have been more new infections in these areas, while suburban areas are showing more recoveries and less active cases.

While the rate of infection in townships is still low and the number of positive cases are not that high, Makhura said the province is focusing on these geographic areas and directing the health resources to trace and isolate those infected in order to curb cluster infections. 

Makhura said the province is far from reaching its peak but ,should the pandemic peak at “anytime” it would be ready.

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Not really worth reading. But keep on with this lockdown, keep on prescribing to us what winter clothes to buy and how to wear it. Keep on forcing us to buy illegal cigarettes and forcing us to brew our own beer.

The population is tired of this, very tired.

Oh yes-the population is very tired of this but the government knows that they will DO NOTHING. The population is disturbingly lazy, can chirp but will not do anything. Zuma is laughing at the population as are the people who destroyed the SOEs and stole the country broke!!

South Africans cannot understand democracy, nor its rights nor the powers that it confers on citizens -its too much for them. They either want to sit on their butts and drink beer in shebeens or get drunk at a braai!

So say -yes boss to NDZ or Ebrahim and dont drink , smoke, exercise outside tolerated hours, have your dompa with you if you work and be tucked up watching SABC lie about SAAs recovery on TV

I am too old-81 -to do much-but I am sorry this generation of South Africans is so inherently cowardly and lazy that they must live with this nonsense

Dear Moneyweb
Please research the facts before writing a statement like this one “At the time of writing Gauteng, formerly the epicentre of the virus, had 2 343 confirmed cases. The second highest in the country.”. Gauteng has at the time of writing hah 1671 recoveries. That place Gauteng 4th in the country behind EC, KZN and WC of active cases, which is a far better statistic to report on than the case history.

Before getting excited about level 3 that may or may not happen, people should first consider what the practical differences between the two levels will be. For example, the Deeds Office has opened under level 4, yet estate agents can for some or other inexplicable reason only sell residential properties under level 2. So the government has opened a government office where the officials will soon run out of work as there is no contineous supply chain. Don’t be surprized if the only difference between level 4 and 3 is closed toe shoes and fried chicken.

Deeds office can catch up so your level 2 transaction will be registered within days……………………….

Ja right. Municipal offices will take weeks to issue rates and taxes clearance certificates; unless you give a cooldrink.

Have you forgotten EC? Cauldron of mismanagement and inept governance. Nothing moves without a tender being issued.

The people that called me about space for a hospital did not know what air handling a critical care facility needed and they were planning on using normal flushing toilets. That is more scary than the virus!

Interesting that they both admit that the lockdown was so that they could prepare their health facilities yet they haven’t prepared them.
The WC will only now explore changing the convention centre to a mass hospital and Gauteng promise they’ll be ready incase there’s a spike. What did you do during the last 2 months?

Government won’t move WP easily to level 3, they hate the WP, DA run. They even allocate less police per capita, so don’t think for a moment they will move them to 3.

Later on they will tell their voters that they the ANC saved their lives by delaying and that the DA was going to kill them all by an early move to 3.

We need level 1 you fools

Windebag and the leader-with-Matric-certificate were fast out the starting blocks, sprinting towards the finish line, hoping to win a Gold Star for their brilliant testing efforts….

But all they uncovered was how horrendous the test-results were, and have given the government huge impetus to keep WC under Level 4, if not Level 5 while the rest of the country opens up for business again.

Well done Windebag, your Gold Star is in the Mail…

Absolutely no idea how to play the political game, poor Steenhuizen. Stop testing!

I take it that you are the kind of parents who congratulates your kid for failing his standard..loser!

I have commented previously to MW and others, that these journalists are not supplying any useful information. The misinformation is very damaging, unconstructive and puts citizens at the mercy of manipulations.
In particular, this relates to the Govt data re low positives in Gauteng vs W. Cape.
Given the same conditions in townships in both areas, it is impossible that Gauteng has a 2% positive vs WC with a 7+% positive rate. Based on tests done.
This is purely for political capital and the media should be hammering at the RIGHT INFORMATION not glibly putting out clearly biased data.
Once we all have the right info, the right decisions can be made.
MW get with the program!!!

Journalists have to abide by the rules laid out by the dictatorship that is the ANC regime. MW can only work with the data provided by these communists.

So the retail sector is now ‘responsible for the spread of the virus’. Nothing to do with millions queuing all day for social grants so they can shop then.

Either way, I’m still looking forward to getting back to ………
LOADSHEDDING <

End of comments.

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