President Cyril Ramaphosa has increased the national lockdown by two weeks, in a wide-ranging address from Pretoria on Thursday.
And, in an attempt to soften the economic blow, Ramaphosa announced that himself, the vice president and cabinet ministers and deputy ministers will all be taking a 33% pay cut, which will be put in the national Solidarity Fund to assist those in need.
The president, meanwhile, also announced that the number of positive cases has increased to 1 934.
Ramaphosa said the coronavirus crisis has worsened since he addressed the nation two weeks ago when he instituted the lockdown.
He said the lockdown has been shown to be effective, saying that before the lockdown the daily infection rate increased by about 42% – it was now at just 4%.
“There is sufficient evidence to show that the lockdown is working,” he said.
But, Ramaphosa warned: “We cannot relax and we cannot be complacent”, adding that evidence from around the world suggests the best way forward is to be cautious.
“If we end the lockdown too abruptly, we risk reversing the gains we have made in the last few weeks.”
Ramaphosa said the government’s Solidarity Fund has raised about R2.2 billion and money has been earmarked for medical supplies and humanitarian relief.
He then announced that himself, Deputy President David Mabuza, and all cabinet ministers will be taking a 33% pay cut for the next three months, which will be contributed to the Solidarity Fund.
Source. News 24