The fact that South Africa remains on lockdown Level Three in the midst of a sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases proves that the government overreacted last year when it implemented extremely draconian measures that caused needless damage to the economy.
The opportunity created by the initial lockdown period was not adequately used to prepare the health care system for the second wave of infections. The field hospitals that were erected were taken down again while knowing full well that a second wave was on its way.
The country’s healthcare services did not use the time it was afforded by the extremely stringent and drawn-out lockdown period, during which many South Africans lost their jobs and income, to get ready.
And now the economy must once again suffer the consequences of the government’s incompetence and poor decision making, at a time when we can least afford it. The uncertainty concerning the re-opening of schools is counterproductive and the government must provide clarity on the matter as soon as possible.
As regards the latest measures, it is irrational that beaches remain closed as the police are spending so much precious time, energy and money on apprehending and prosecuting lone individuals on beaches.
Meanwhile, there are many areas in the country where health and safety measures are not adhered to at all and where lockdown restrictions are simply ignored. The police must rather focus their efforts on those areas and on combating ordinary crime.
Likewise, it is irrational to extend the ban on alcohol. The ban is not achieving the desired outcome. It is merely facilitating illegal trade, decreasing state revenue and depriving many people in this industry of a livelihood as jobs are lost.
At most, stringent restrictions should be placed on the sale of alcohol, but an absolute ban is doing more damage than good.
It is unacceptable that, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, prisoners will receive the vaccine before the general public, who are responsible for ensuring the country’s economic survival.
The government failed to procure a vaccine in time and its plan for rolling out a vaccination programme is predominantly unrealistic.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus