It’s going to be a busy day for President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, 15 September, 2020, he is set to take part in two high-level meetings. The engagements come at a time when South Africans are on the edge of their seats, amid speculation that he is likely to announce that the country will progress to Level 1 lockdown.
Ramaphosa is expected to co-chair a virtual meeting of the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) with Deputy President David Mabuza. The Council is made up of cabinet ministers, premiers as well as members of the South African Local Government Association (Salga).
The focus of the meeting is expected to be a deliberation of a report from the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on the country’s response to the global pandemic.
Last week, government approved the extension of the National State of Disaster to 15 October.
Level 1 lockdown loading
The Minister of Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said that South Africa would have to move to a Level 1 lockdown and a return to some kind of normalcy as part of its economic recovery, citing an improvement in its handling of the coronavirus.
Ramaphosa addressed the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and dropped a few hints which pointed to the country entering Level 1 sooner than expected.
“We are considering all of that as we do an evaluation of where the infection rate is. We will be able to give consideration to all of these proposals and get advice,” he said in part.
“This is where we will need advice from the Medical Advisory Committee as well as from our Natjoints which is the real engine of monitoring our coronavirus approach. So we will be giving consideration to all that.”
Ramaphosa to meet Nedlac on recovery plan
The president will also be chairing a virtual meeting of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on the progress made towards finalising the national economic recovery plan.
This would be a follow-up of another meeting held with Nedlac back in August, where social partners tabled proposals.
“The social partners – government, business, labour and community – have been meeting over the last few weeks to develop a common approach to rebuilding the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” Ramaphosa’s office said.
Like many other countries, including the United States and France, South Africa’s economy has taken a battering as a result of the global pandemic, which has led to a reported three million jobs lost.