The government has approved the extension of the national state of disaster by one month to 15 April.
This was revealed at a media briefing on Thursday, 11 March, by acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni following a Cabinet meeting the day before.
“This is done in terms of Section 27(5) (C) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002). The public are urged to continue adhering to all Covid-19 health measures and restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus,” Ntshavheni said.
“This means that all the measures contained in the regulations to save lives and preserve livelihoods within the context of the risk-adjusted strategy are required beyond 15 March 2021,” she said.
The current national state of disaster under level 1 was due to expire on 15 March.
The extension means that South Africa will officially pass the one-year mark next week since the lockdown was declared, with the first measures having come into effect in March 2020.
In a statement, the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said the decision to extend the state of national disaster followed consultations and Cabinet approval.
“Consideration of the material conditions within the context of the risk-adjusted strategy motivated a decision to endorse this further extension.
“We must sustain our commitment to remain responsive, agile and compassionate as we work to save lives and protect the livelihoods of all South Africans,” the Ministry said.
The multiple extensions of the state of disaster have come under fire since it was declared.
Many have argued that the Disaster Management Act gave the government complete freedom to act as it wished by extending the period without parliamentary oversight.
Watch the briefing below courtesy of the SABC: