Statement on the Special Cabinet Meeting of 12 and 13 May 2020
A Special Cabinet Meeting was held on a virtual platform on 12 and 13 May 2020. Cabinet was apprised through the National Coronavirus Command Council on progress achieved and challenges experienced in the implementation of Level 4 of the Risk-Adjusted Approach towards reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Cabinet welcomed the generally positive response from the public and business in adhering to the approved Level 4 restrictions and guidelines. This level enabled an estimated 1,5 million South Africans to return to work and to much-needed economic activity.
This return was accompanied by requirements on employers to implement COVID-19-specific health protocols that are directed at protecting employees, customers and the broader community.
Cabinet also commended the nation on its overwhelming adherence to the requirement that masks be worn in public places at all times.
Cabinet was updated on the substantial progress achieved by the Department of Health in working with provinces to ensure that all parts of the country are able to intensify screening, testing, treatment and contact tracing as the pandemic develops.
Cabinet also welcomed progress reported on the rollout of the multifaceted economic and social support and relief programmes that have assisted enterprises and vulnerable citizens since the start of the national lockdown.
Cabinet expressed its understanding for challenges and frustrations experienced by the public and businesses due to a lack of clarity in some of the Level 4 regulations, which gave rise to inconsistent interpretation and enforcement.
Cabinet committed that regulations would be reviewed to provide the necessary clarity and enable improved compliance.
Cabinet further noted variations in infection rates between different metropolitan and district municipalities. It is this differentiation that informed Cabinet to embark on a differentiated level approach as a response to COVID-19.
Having appreciated the progress made towards levelling the pandemic curve and capacitating the public health system to deal with an increase in infections, Cabinet approved the further easing of restrictions.
Ministers will initiate and finalise broad-ranging consultations within government, key sectors of the economy and with civil society. This will lead to the general relaxing of the lockdown restrictions from Level 4 towards Level 3 and others.
This will ease pressure on the economy and facilitate greater movement of people while maintaining vigilance against the disease and enforcing health safety measures. The key imperative that drives Cabinet’s response to COVID-19 is to decrease infections and save lives.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Mr Mulima Godfrey Mashamba as the Deputy Director-General (DDG): Evaluation, Evidence and Knowledge Systems at the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
2. Dr Cynthia Ntombifuthi Khumalo as the DDG: Arts, Culture Promotion and Development at the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.
3. Extension of employment contract of Mr Nkhumeleni Victor Tharage as the Director-General (DG) at the Department of Tourism.
4. Dr Sabelo Siyabonga Buthelezi as the DG at the Department of Health.
Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 501 0139
14 May 2020