Question NW3064 to the Minister of Health

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05 January 2021 - NW3064

Profile picture: Thembekwayo, Dr S

Thembekwayo, Dr S to ask the Minister of Health

(1)What contingency measures are in place to curb the spike in the spread of COVID-19 in the (a) Eastern Cape and (b) Western Cape, taking into consideration that the staff is fatigued and under pressure; (2) whether the Government is considering to reintroduce hard lockdowns; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?


1. The Department has observed the increasing Covid-19 positive numbers in the two Provinces, as you may be aware I have personally visited Eastern Cape and Western Cape, met with the leadership in both Provinces, jointly agreed on measures to be taken.

The Department has placed WHO experts in the two Provinces to assist with the resurgence. I have also deployed teams from National to work with the various provinces including Eastern Cape and Western Cape to develop resurgence plans.


In Eastern Cape additional doctors and nurses were employed to address Human Resource shortages. Further in Eastern Cape, specifically in Nelson Mandela Bay and Sara Baartman, community testing sites have been established, and these have increased access to testing for many communities.

Compliance monitoring has been strengthened including Environmental Health Practitioners and other law enforcement agencies are monitoring non-compliant outlets and closing down those found to be non-compliant.

  • Curfew between 10pm and 4am
  • Alcohol sale has been restricted to Monday to Thursday.

Additional measures

Evidence is showing us that gatherings provide an opportunity for the virus to spread, with social gathering recorded as super spreaders.

Drastically reducing numbers or stopping social gatherings should be considered to ease the pressure in our hospitals.

All patients on chronic medication are urged to adhere to their treatment to reduce emergency admissions due to non-adherence to treatment.

Stricter measures are being taken in Taxis or busses and trains if passengers and drivers are not wearing masks. Passengers also have a responsibility to demand a safe environment.

2. A decision on whether or not to reintroduce a hard lockdown is taken after careful consideration and in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, keeping in mind the health of the nation as a priority, as well as the socioeconomic impact such a decision would have to the country.


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