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'We want to save lives': Dlamini-Zuma defends govt’s response to COVID-19

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Tuesday gave clarity on amendments to the level three restrictions, saying it was difficult to ascertain how long South Africa would be under a state of disaster.

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma briefs the nation on regulations under lockdown level 1, which comes into effect at midnight, on Sunday 20 September 2020., Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has defended government’s response to COVID-19, saying that restrictions were not picked arbitrarily but were intended to save lives.

Dlamini-Zuma, who on Tuesday gave clarity on amendments to the level three restrictions, said that it was difficult to ascertain how long South Africa would be under a state of disaster.

READ MORE: After tears & night vigils remain barred, says Dlamini-Zuma

She said that the law allowed for it to be extended every month but that it would depend on the rate of coronavirus transmissions and state of hospitals.

Dlamini-Zuma has, like some of her peers and President Cyril Ramaphosa, defended the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Dlamini-Zuma said that government was not acting as a law unto itself: “There is nothing that we’re doing which is authoritarian. We are following the law that was passed by our very same Parliament.”

ALSO READ: What we know about South Africa's coronavirus variant

Government has often received criticism, with some questioning the curfew beach closures and restrictions on the sale of booze.

But the minister argues that there is a legitimate reason behind every measure put in place.

“As long as we understand that these regulations are to protect lives; they are not arbitrarily put there, they are there to protect lives, they are there because the infections in South Africa is very high.”

She said the rate of transmission, state of hospitals and the mortality rate would guide government on the next course of action.

WATCH: Stick to the rules, protect each other - Dlamini-Zuma

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