South Africa

South African Government To Allow Opening Of All Core Productive Sectors

The South African government on Thursday said most of the economic sectors including mining and manufacturing will be allowed to fully resume operations from next month as the country further eases coronavirus lockdown regulations, reported Reuters.

“This is the most significant reopening of the economy since the lockdown began…It opens up all of our core productive sectors from manufacturing to mining,” said Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel.

South Africa has been almost shut since a nationwide lockdown began in late March. The country has so far reported over 25,937 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 552 deaths.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would ease restrictions to level three of its five-level lockdown plan from June, allowing the vast majority of the economy to return to full capacity.

Notably, despite the ease in lockdown some high-risk businesses such as hotels, lodges, hair salons and sit-down facilities at restaurants will continue to remain closed.

The South African government has permitted sale of alcohol for home consumption from next month. Different places of worship will be allowed to reopen in the country, but, only 50 people will be allowed to gather at one time. The people will, however, have to adhere to social distancing measures at all prayer facilities and worshippers and wear face masks as per current health regulations.

Limited domestic air travel has also been permitted; more details are expected to be announced soon. A ban on all regional and intercontinental flights will continue to be in place until the end of June.

The South African tourism industry is also lobbying government to allow it to open up during lockdown level 3.

“In opening our economy, we must maintain a firm eye on our goal of flattening the curve and minimizing the rates of infections and deaths,” said the South African Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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