President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his latest address to the nation on the Covid-19 crisis, took the difficult decision to impose a national lockdown from midnight on Thursday, for all but essential personnel. This is to last for 21 days.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) March 23, 2020
While our hearts go out to those whose jobs and businesses are placed in peril by the development and Covid-19 crisis, the president must be lauded for making the hard calls and, in consultation with advisers, deciding to go this route.
There will be pain and financial fallout – and we are yet to see how the public will respect and respond to his call – but delaying action and kicking the can down the road would have seen a far worse outcome. The president has a duty and a personal responsibility to protect the health of the general population and possibly save many lives through his policy.
We feel it was the only call to make and a brave one.
A united South Africa, that stands together during this disaster, will emerge stronger and better on the other side.
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) March 23, 2020
On Twitter, DA leader John Steenhuisen welcomed Ramaphosa’s announcement: “The next three weeks of lockdown, and the months that follow this period, will be our greatest test as a nation. We can get through this if we stand united against #CoronavirusInSA.
“I welcome the President’s announcements and urge all South Africans to stand behind them.”
The next three weeks of lockdown, and the months that follow this period, will be our greatest test as a nation.
We can get through this if we stand united against #CoronavirusInSA.
I welcome the President's announcements and urge all South Africans to stand behind them. 🇿🇦 https://t.co/o2uwFNRQ25
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) March 23, 2020
The ACDP commented: “We call for all communities, churches & South Africans to pray & to stand together. As a nation we have faced many challenges & as we face this pandemic, we can defeat it & come out stronger.
“We salute those financial institutions, big businesses and individuals that have released plans to help small business owners over the next three months. Let’s extend this to poor households.”
The EFF also issued a statement expressing support for the lockdown and measures announced by Ramaphosa.
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 23, 2020