President Cyril Ramaphosa continued with his consultations with various sectors of society on Saturday when he met traditional leaders on his administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.
Last week, Ramaphosa announced that the country would move to alert level 3 of the lockdown from next month and would consult widely before details are made public.
Deputy President David Mabuza previously met traditional leaders to discuss the government’s response to the deadly coronavirus and appealed to them to join the efforts to fight the disease.
According to the Presidency, Ramaphosa’s meeting with traditional leaders is part of a series of consultations with various sectors of society to ensure that plans to combat the crisis are inclusive and enjoy the support of all stakeholders. On Friday, Ramaphosa held a virtual meeting the representatives of the tourism industry who wanted to engage him on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and plans to sustain the sector.
Ramaphosa also acknowledged that tourism is the country’s largest source of employment and that the government has instituted the tourism relief fund to assist small, micro and medium-sized enterprises affected by lockdown restrictions.
Minority rights group AfriForum and trade union Solidarity have challenged the use of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment among the criterion to access the R200 million relief fund but failed at the North Gauteng High Court.
The organisations have indicated they will appeal the high court ruling at the Supreme Court of Appeal. Ramaphosa’s consultation started a week ago when he chaired a virtual meeting of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to deliberate on the prospect of moving most of the country to Covid-19 alert level 3, which will see more extensive reopening of the economy and lifting of restrictions on movement.
The meeting included Nedlac’s constituencies – the government, labour, community and business. Ramaphosa has subsequently met leaders of religious formations and political parties represented in Parliament.
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