WESTERN CAPE NEWS - The Western Cape will argue against a lockdown being imposed on the province, and is in favour of targeted, local interventions based on scientific evidence, said Premier Alan Winde in a media statement last night.
"The National Covid-19 Command Council has met today (1 December) to discuss the resurgence being experienced in some provinces, including the Western Cape. This will be followed by a Presidential Coordinating Council meeting on Wednesday morning where the President engages and consults with the nine Premiers.
"The Western Cape Government and local governments in the province are considering their own localised interventions and restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19 in line with our own respective powers," said Winde.
"While we are considering our own interventions, the Western Cape Government does intend to engage the President on our position on existing regulations during this meeting tomorrow (Wednesday). This is because all regulations under the Disaster Management Act are promulgated by the National Government and not Provincial Governments."
Behaviour can make dent in resurgence
Winde said a lockdown would be disastrous for the province's economy, will cause major job losses, and a humanitarian disaster, and must be prevented at all costs.
"We must first do everything possible, through our individual and collective action to ensure the resurgence is rolled-back and to prevent this tool from ever having to be used again. If we all wear a mask, follow the golden rules, and avoid the 3Cs (crowded places, confined spaces and close contact), we can make a major dent in this resurgence."
Winde said increased communication by all spheres of government on the safety precautions that residents should be taking over the festive season should be rolled out, and the National Government should assist hotspots in this respect.
Enforcement of regulations
"There are already many regulations in place that can be leveraged to respond right now, but they need to be enforced as a matter of urgency so that there are consequences for those breaking the rules.
"The Western Cape Government is doing what it can in turn of its own competencies, but full coordinated action will make a bigger impact."
He said, though, the provincial government is faced with a major challenge in the limited policing resources in the Western Cape. Redirecting law enforcement teams to enforce regulations while rampant crime continues, is highly problematic.
"The President should therefore allocate more police officers to hotspots to enable additional enforcement that does not undermine crime prevention.
"This big push on behaviour change, with common-sense, targeted interventions linked to scientific advice, and increased enforcement of said interventions, is the best way we can get the balance between keeping the economy open and slowing the spread of Covid-19," said Winde.
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