Cabinet has made the decision to extend South Africa’s national State of Disaster by another month. This follows a virtual cabinet meeting hosted on Wednesday, February 10 where the announcement was made that the State of Disaster will continue until March 15, 2021 in terms of Section 27(5) of the Disaster Management Act of 2002.
The new end of the State of Disaster also marks nearly a year after South Africa first put the legislation into action in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It has been extended on several occasions and was originally meant to end on June 15, 2020
The Act has been used to enforce the lockdown curfews and sporadic bans on alcohol during the pandemic – both necessary measures to reduce the spread of the virus and ease the strain on the country’s health workers, the medical system and its resources.
The extension also comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to host the first-ever State of the Nation Address (SONA) during lockdown. Only 50 people will be allowed into the room when the address takes place on Thursday, February 11.