Live stream: Ramaphosa to address the nation on Saturday 15 August

President Cyril Ramaphosa, will on Saturday 15 August 2020, address the nation on developments in South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19. When we think of South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy, we automatically look toward the next lockdown level, which in our case, is Level 2. There’s no doubt we’re looking out for news on the alcohol and cigarette bans too.

The President’s address follows a number of meetings of the Cabinet and the National coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) which, at this stage, could potentially point to more than a move to Level 2. The National State of Disaster also expires on Saturday at midnight which has left the government with little time.

The provincial Command Council (PCC), led by Gauteng Premier David Makhura, provided a riveting update on Thursday morning. Professor Bruce Mellado, who sits on Makhura’s advisory committee, said the Gauteng province appears ready to relax lockdown restrictions. This came after the speed of transmission rates appeared to slow in the last month.

WHAT TIME WILL CYRIL RAMAPHOSA GO LIVE? 

If the presidency has confirmed it, you know its happening. Many questions remain though, what will Cyril Ramaphosa announce this time? 

Will we be able to freely visit our family members? Will the bans on cigarettes and alcohol be lifted? Will inter-provincial travel be allowed? One thing’s for sure though, we will all be on the edge of our seats this evening. 

According to the presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa’s live broadcast will kick off at 20:00. 

WATCH: CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ADDRESS THE NATION

[Live stream will appear here just before 20:00, depending on what time we get started]

WILL THE ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTE BANS BE LIFTED?

In terms of the alcohol and cigarette bans, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether Ramaphosa will let up. Although the infection rate has improved and hospital bed capacity is improving, we can’t be sure that it’s enough.

The cigarette ban is allegedly costing the government more than R35 million a day in lost revenue. Fita Chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, fed up with the ongoing tobacco ban said “we’ve been here before” in response to Ramaphosa being advised to lift the bans.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, backed by the Democratic Alliance (DA), has strongly advocated for the alcohol ban to be lifted in the Western Cape. Arguing that the infection rate is reducing, the premier said there’s no reason for it to remain.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the alcohol ban can only be lifted if three things are achieved.  

  • A decline in the number of new COVID-19 infections;
  • Proof that the need for hospital beds has been reduced; and
  • ‘Emphatic support’ from ICU doctors and senior medical professionals.

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Presh JM Reporter

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