AfriForum welcomes the announcement tonight by Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa that the nationwide lockdown will be relaxed to level 4 on Friday, 1 May 2020.
The civil rights organisation is however concerned that the relaxation measures have not yet been announced, but will continue to monitor the situation. AfriForum is of the opinion that the government’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic is not balanced and in some cases had resulted in bigger crises than solutions and furthermore says that more people will in the process die of hunger than from the virus itself.
The organisation also strongly expresses itself against the draconic measures that are currently being enforced by the state, among which the Department of Tourism’s use of race as criteria for the allocation of COVID-19 support to tourism enterprises; regulations that give the state the power to prosecute anyone that tested positive for COVID-19 and refuses to go to a government controlled quarantine camp for COVID-19 patients; and regulations that prevent communities to look after their own safety by means of community safety initiatives such as neighbourhood watches and community policing forums.
AfriForum will continue to oppose abuse of power by the state and also submit practical measures to responsibly relax the nationwide lockdown.