“The directions that provide for the payment of the special R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant will remain in place. This will enable the Department of Social Development to finalise the regulations that will allow the payment of the grant to continue.
“These transitional measures also ensure that people can continue to receive their special R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant and that there is no interruption regarding drivers’ licences.”
Speaking during an address to the nation, Ramaphosa announced that the State of Disaster is no longer necessary in the context of SA’s fight against COVID-19, but stressed that the virus remains a threat. The State of Disaster will come to an end at midnight tonight.
Ramaphosa said that the State of Disaster was a necessary measure to ensure that millions more people did not lose their lives to the COVID-19 virus. He praised it’s successes in maintaining a semblance of normality during extraordinary times.
“There is no doubt that such a response was necessary – the declaration of the national state of Disaster enabled government to take measures to prevent many more people from becoming severely ill and saving many lives,” he said.
“These measures were effective.”
“In the context of a free and open society, the additional powers that this allows are temporary and limited. they should be maintained only as long as they absolutely necessary. We have now entered a new phase in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Ramaphosa said that the lifting of restrictions follows close consultation with the National Coronavirus Command Council, as well as Cabinet and other relevant stakeholders.
The number of COVID-19 cases being reported on a daily basis has remained fairly consistent over recent weeks, with death rates and hospitalisations staying relatively low.