Statement on the Virtual Cabinet Meeting held on Thursday, 4 June 2020
1. North High Court Judgment of Tuesday, 2 June 2020
1.1 A special virtual Cabinet meeting was held today, Thursday, 4 June 2020, to discuss developments in South Africa’s efforts to save lives and protect livelihoods amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this discussion, Cabinet reflected on the North Gauteng High Court judgment delivered by Justice Norman Davis on Tuesday, 2 June, 2020, which declared the COVID-19 lockdown regulations in levels 3 and 4 unconstitutional and invalid.
1.2 After obtaining legal advice and listening to numerous comments made by members of the legal fraternity in reaction to the judgement, we are of the view that another court might come to a different conclusion on the matter.
1.3 Cabinet has therefore decided to appeal the North Gauteng High court decision.
1.4 Government will ask that its appeal be heard on an urgent basis so that it can obtain certainty on the regulations. The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will be joined in this appeal by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
1.5 Cabinet wishes to assure the nation that all interventions introduced since the declaration of a state of national disaster in March 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa have been directed primarily at saving lives.
1.6 In implementing these interventions, government has consistently consulted all sectors of society, as the fight against COVID-19 is a national effort that requires unity in action between Government and all South Africans.
1.7 While government appeals the court judgment, current regulations remain in force and we appeal and urge all our people to observe all the health protocols that have been put in place including washing of hands, social distancing, wearing of masks in public as well as screening and referral for testing where necessary.
2. Extension of the National State of Disaster
2.1 Cabinet approved the extension of the National State of Disaster by another month from the 15th June to 15 July 2020. The law allows for the National State of disaster to last for 90 days which necessitates the extension.
3. Western Cape COVID-19 infections
3.1 Cabinet remains concerned about the intensity and increase of COVID-19 infections in the Western Cape. To this effect President Ramaphosa will undertake a visit to the province on Friday, 5 June 2020, to discuss the situation with Premier Alan Winde and the provincial executive, and to assess the province’s readiness for continued management of the pandemic.
3.2 President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister Mkhize; Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga; Police Minister Bheki Cele; Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille.
4. Child Protection Week
4.1 Cabinet reminds the public that this week is Child Protection Week which started this past Sunday the 31 May and ends this coming Sunday 7 June 2020. Child Protection Week seeks to elevate issues of the protection of children throughout the year. This year’s theme is: “Let Us All Protect Children, During COVID-19 and Beyond”.
5. Water shortage
5.1 Cabinet has noted the recent drop in dam levels, particularly in the Western Cape. As a water-scarce country, the dam levels have a negative impact on our water needs. Cabinet therefore makes an appeal to all of us to use water sparingly.
Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
4 June 2020