President Cyril Ramaphosa says the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is considering whether or not the country will continue with the National State of Disaster legislation currently in place.
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The National State of Disaster was declared by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, as a response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020,nearly two years ago.
“We are examining how best we should handle the state of disaster in this period where the infections have tapered down and to see the efficacy of using the State of Disaster legislation or utilising other measures.
“The National Coronavirus Command Council is examining exactly that to see whether we can use health protocols, health regulations to move forward in our management of this pandemic,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President said the legislation has allowed government to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact.
“Many have challenged in the courts the utilisation of the State of Disaster but I think since the disaster descended on our country we have managed the process rather well… Of course there is a good argument to be put forward that now that we are where we are, should we not examine and look at other methods [or] other instruments that can be utilised,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said the decision on whether to continue on with the National State of Disaster is a “collective process” however, and any decision on it must be based on rationality.
“[We] are a free country, people have every right to advocate for the dropping of the State of Disaster instrument.
“We are government, we’ve got to be very rational in everything that we do so we are examining that. If [we do not drop the legislation] then we will have a very rational explanation to say why we should continue with the State of Disaster legislation,” he said.