DA proposes a ‘flexible smart lockdown’ similar to load-shedding

John Steenhuisen
John Steenhuisen

‘We must hope for a shorter period but plan pragmatically for a long one’

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says they will submit their flexible and smart lockdown proposal similar to load-shedding to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The party says they have been working tirelessly with healthcare and financial experts, policy specialists, and our Shadow Cabinet to devise a sustainable and flexible Smart Lockdown to supplement government’s coronavirus response effort while protecting the South African economy and the livelihoods which depend on it.

Party leader John Steenhuisen says South Africa cannot afford a hard lockdown as the economy was already on recession before the COVID-19 pandemic, thus suggesting that a lockdown similar to load shedding should be implemented.

“The DA’s Smart Lockdown functions similarly to a load shedding grid or the different stages of water restrictions previously seen during the Western Cape drought, both strategies that are familiar to South African,” Steenhuisen says

The party warns that South Africa may have to contain the coronavirus right up until a vaccine is widely available in 18-24 months’ time.

“We must hope for a shorter period but plan pragmatically for a long one,” the DA interim leader added.

The DA proposes the following strategy during COVID-19 in South Africa

  • Moving between lockdown stages (different specified stages of economic and social activity) in response to what the data is telling us e.g. about new daily infections and hospital capacity.
  • Massive rollout of testing, tracking, tracing, and treatment coupled with transparent reporting of data.
  • Massive build of healthcare capacity coupled with transparent reporting of progress data.
  • Enabling and strict enforcement of the wearing of protective face masks in all public areas.
  • The roll out of a comprehensive public education campaign: hygiene, diagnosis, handling. This includes health protocols for public spaces and workplaces;
  • Assistance to the high-risk group to continue isolating where possible.
  • Strict border control.
  • Bold economic stimulus/relief package
  • Sweeping reforms in government and to our economy

Read the DA’s full plan here