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Court challenges, job losses & more infections – 100 days of SA's lockdown

South Africa marks 100 days of a nationwide lockdown that has seen various levels, phases, and legislative grey areas in government's attempt to navigate the pandemic.

A barber shaving a customer's head gets reprimanded by the police for operating during lockdown. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWM

JOHANNESBURG – As COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to soar after 100 days of the disaster management restrictions, President Cyril Ramaphosa said another hard restriction on movement was not on the cards.

South Africa marks 100 days of a nationwide lockdown that has seen various levels, phases and legislative grey areas in government's attempt to navigate the pandemic and flatten the curve.

The effects of the lockdown though have been dire for the economy, the vulnerable, businesses and everyday life as the country grapples with the global health crisis.

The restrictions of non-essential movement was imposed in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On 23 March the President announced a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

WATCH: President Ramaphosa: South Africa will go into 21-day lockdown

In his announcement – which has been dubbed on social media as a "family meeting" – Ramaphosa said the initial three-week shutdown would see South Africans forced to unlearn many of the social conventions they were used to.

“The National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nationwide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday, 26 March. This is a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”

In just over a month, tens of thousands lost their jobs, while many went hungry with an already weak economy, forcing the president to introduce lockdown levels to revive the economy and save livelihoods.

“Our people need to eat. They need to earn a living. Companies need to be able to produce and to trade, they need to generate revenue and keep their employees in employment.”
The lockdown has included several reversals, including the u-turn on the sale of cigarettes and the reopening of schools.

Despite government's intervention, the President has urged that personal actions can continue to delay the rate of infections.

On Saturday morning there were over 177, 000 cases of COVID-19.

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