With COVID-19 cases declining, WC govt eyes further opening of economy

The provincial government plans to make a call to allow for international travel in line with clear health guidelines.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. Picture: Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape government Cabinet is expected to meet on Friday to discuss how to further open up the economy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa hinted this week that government could further relax COVID-19 lockdown restrictions to level 1 of the lockdown.

The provincial government plans to make a call to allow for international travel in line with clear health guidelines. The Cabinet will also adopt an official position to present to Ramaphosa during his next round of consultations.

Ramaphosa said that the country was facing a serious economic disaster that would result in hunger and growing levels of inequality.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said that the province had seen a significant reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalisations since it hit its peak.

Winde said that it was time to get the economy going again.

“This week we definitely have confirmation from our GDP quarterly reports. The numbers coming out showing a serious reduction in economic activity, with these results showing us the pandemic is a very serious issue,” Winde said.

The premier said that the discussion around boosting the economy again would be a key agenda point. He said they had convened two meetings and identified the pillars of their recovery plan, which would focus on government’s priorities of jobs, safety, and dignity for the people of the province.

But Winde said that their success would be limited if there was a continued restriction on economic activity.

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