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May 2021 2nd edition

National State of Disaster extended

The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has gazetted the extension of the National State of Disaster by another month.

“We must also sustain our commitment to remain responsive, agile and compassionate, as we work to save lives and protect the livelihoods of all South Africans. The National State of Disaster will be in effect until 15 November 2020,” Minister Dlamini-Zuma says in a statement.

A National State of Disaster is when the government determines an emergency in a country.

In the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, South Africa is faced with a medical emergency posed by the COVID-19 virus. This means that the government must make special circumstances that warrant immediate action beyond what is provided for in existing legislation.

This is to prevent and contain the threat of the virus to the country's healthcare system, economy and the people.

The country has been in a National State of Disaster since March, due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension follows consultations and approval by Cabinet, CoGTA said in a statement.

“The decision to extend the State of National Disaster was not taken lightly. Consideration of the material conditions within the context of the Risk-Adjusted Strategy motivated the decision to endorse this further extension.

"It is important to note that the current measures contained in the regulations to deal with the disaster, in the context of the Risk-Adjusted Strategy, are needed beyond 15 October 2020,” the department said.

The Minister has expressed gratitude for the public support for measures to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, including maintaining social distancing, regular washing of hands or sanitising, and the wearing of masks in public.

-SAnews.gov.za