The Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen says his party opposes the continuation of lockdown by two weeks announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday 09 April, citing that the extension will further cripple the economy.
“We would prefer a gradual phasing out of the current lockdown over the coming weeks as opposed to a continuation of the severe and economically-crippling regulations we currently see,”he said.
Steenhuisen also added that his party’s concern lies on president Ramaphosa’s justification of the extension as if citizens face a binary choice between health concerns and economic concerns.
“We believe it is a great mistake to think in terms of lives versus livelihoods. This is a false dilemma.
Rather, the difficult trade-offs to be made are between lives lost or damaged by COVID-19, and lives lost or damaged by the drastic measures to contain it’s spread,” he said.
The Democratic Alliance also believes that the absence of empirical data and modelling makes it very difficult to agree that a lockdown extension may be an effective means to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Decisions made at this level,and which have such dire repercussions on the economic well being of South Africa, must be rooted in scientific research and pragmatic policy positions,” said Steenhuisen.
President Cyril Ramaphosa assured the nation that after emerging from the global crisis, the nation will need to undergo a process of fundamental reconstruction.