On April 23, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the nationwide lockdown will gradually ease in levels from Friday, April 1. However, certain metros may have stronger lockdown regulations than others.
There will be a national lockdown level, but separate levels for each individual province, district, and metro in the country depending on the spread of the virus and the health systems in the given areas.
In his address, President Ramaphosa revealed that 75% of confirmed coronavirus cases are found in just six metro municipalities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Cape Town, Buffalo City, eThekwini and Mangaung.
As of April 23, the Western Cape has the most coronavirus cases and deaths in the country. However, it is important to note that the Western Cape is deliberately targeting areas that have been identified as clusters of cases, which could be why the testing positivity rate is higher than other provinces.
In an interview with Cape Talk, Premier Alan Winde confirmed that he has the authority to tighten lockdown regulations in the Western Cape. However, he may only intensify, not ease restrictions.
“Premiers and the Health Department have now got the power to change the levels upwards. Not downwards, but upwards,” said Winde. “If the president announces level 3, we could still be on level 4 in the city or we could even push it to level 5 if we see that the infection rate is not coming down and we’re not managing it”
“In August, we’re getting to our peak and we’ve got huge risks in the health system at that peak. If we see that we are now increasing too fast and are actually going to go way above it, we’re going to have to move to level 5.”
Winde also notes that stricter regulations can be applied to certain sectors within the province if they do not follow the appropriate health and safety protocols.
Listen to the full Cape Talk interview here: