Ramaphosa to address the nation tonight ahead of Easter weekend

His address follows recent meetings with the of the national coronavirus command council, the president’s coordinating council and Cabinet.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on 11 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Tuesday at 7.30 pm on developments in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A short statement from the Presidency said: “As South Africa rolls out its national COVID-19 vaccination programme, government and social partners are continuously monitoring infection, treatment and patient recovery rates, as well as compliance with health regulations and other prevention measures.”

His address follows recent meetings with the national coronavirus command council, the president’s coordinating council and Cabinet.

The president was initially scheduled to deliver his address at 7 pm, but has since moved it to 7.30 pm to accommodate the last news bulletin of South Africa's favourite isiXhosa news anchor Noxolo Grootboom.

She will deliver her last bulletin at 7 pm on SABC 1 and South Africans are waiting with bated breath to hear her say "ndini thanda nonke emakhaya" for the last time. She has been reading the isiXhosa news for 37 years and is bowing out after mentoring many in the news industry.

The country is currently under alert level 1 lockdown, with alcohol and tobacco sales allowed and religious gatherings permitted among others.

Over the weekend, church leaders said they were optimistic about Ramaphosa's response to their request of keeping churches open over the Easter period.

This followed a meeting between religious leaders representing all denominations and churches in the country with Ramaphosa, where they requested that places of worship be reopened to a minimum of 50% capacity – with strict safety protocols.

However, there have been concerns that religious gatherings over the Easter weekend will lead to super spreader events.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters want Ramaphosa to ban the sale of alcohol over the upcoming Easter holidays.

EFF leader Julius Malema said alcohol sales should be banned from Thursday until next Tuesday.

“We must close alcohol for Easter weekend then half of our problems are done. If we can close alcohol, it’s done. No transportation of alcohol, no selling of alcohol unless it’s a sit-in. That’s it.”

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.