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Dlamini-Zuma: we're not limiting rights with COVID-19 rules, we're saving lives

As South Africa reaches over 4 000 deaths caused by COVID-19, the country is nearing the eye of a storm and peak of infections.

FILE: Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma updates South Africans on regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 lockdown. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Monday emphasised that the new amendments to lockdown regulations were not meant to limit people’s rights, but to save lives. The minister, along with Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, was briefing the media on the amended regulations as announced by the President on Sunday night.

She also affirmed the president’s sentiments that, as South Africa reaches over 4 000 deaths caused by COVID-19, the country is nearing the eye of a storm and peak of infections.

Dlamini-Zuma explained the reasons behind decisions to immediately ban the sale of alcohol, the imposition of a new curfew, prohibition of family visits and inter-provincial travel, among others.

The minister said despite most parts of the economy having been reopened, the government remained committed to saving lives.

"We did indicate that we are easing the lockdown at the time the numbers were going up. And we were forced to do that because of our unique situation where we had to balance saving lives and saving livelihoods," she said.

Cabinet has also sent its condolences to the Mandela family following the death of Zindzi Mandela on Monday morning.

"We'd like to pass our sincere condolences as government," said Mthembu.