President Cyril Ramaphosa
By BO Staff Writer
Following a five-week national lockdown, on Thursday President Ramaphosa announced that the country would go into “a risk-adjusted strategy” that involves an alert level approach (of 5 levels) to open up the economy, and ostensibly to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The current “stringent” Level 5 stage will move into Level 4 gear from from 1 May when certain aspects of the economy will be allowed to resume.
In terms of the Level 4 measures cigarette sales is allowed; alcohol sales is not permitted; takeaway food is prohibited; movement between provinces is not allowed except to transport goods and in special circumstances like funerals; gatherings of more than 10 people outside of the workplace is not permitted; the wearing of a cloth mask and the use of sanitizers for all passengers in all modes of transport is compulsory; transport services can operate subject to vehicle capacity limitations and hygiene requirements; international travel is prohibited except for the repatriation of South Africans; and all the essential services and the food retail stores that are already allowed to be open, may sell all their products in stock.
Furthermore, all agriculture, forestry, pulp and paper sectors; financial and professional services; global business services for export markets; postal and telecommunications services; and fibre-optic and IT services, will be allowed to operate.
Moreover the mining sector will open – open-cast mines will be allowed to operate at 100% while the other mines at 50% capacity.
During the closure of his announcement Ramaphosa failed to properly demonstrate how to use a cloth mask during the lockdown. Instead of covering his mouth and nose with the mask, he covered his eyes and nose. He further touched the outside of the mask, which is strongly cautioned against.
Black First Land First (BLF) President, Andile Mngxitama, took to social media to comment on Ramaphosa’s COVID-19 Level 4 measures, more specifically on the ban on cigarette sales being uplifted:
“My Level 4 observation… Before you put the mask on to cover your eyes and nose, remember that the cigarette battle is JOHANN RUPERT VS ADRIANO MAZZOTTI. It’s a family feud. Mazzotti has been killing it during the lockdown on sales of cigarettes because he mos is into smuggling [underground things]. Rupert has been losing out because he sells over the counter,” Mngxitama said.
“I just saw one of the Mazzotti boys crying that cigarettes must not be sold over the counter because they are in the category of products causing respiratory diseases. Don’t be a moron. It’s not your lungs that they worry about, it’s Mazzotti’s profits because he gives them quick cash not like Johann who makes too many demands,“ he added.