LIVE BLOG: Mkhize stresses the importance of open windows in taxis

Minister Zweli Mkhize briefs the nation on what will or will not change under COVID-19 lockdown level 3

WATCH the Minister's briefing below:

"COVID e ya bulala. COVID a e kheti." Zulu urges people to follow regulations because COVID

Zulu notes and sends condolences to the Mandela famiy as 

The minister says they have employed more people to deal with social issues like gender-based violence.

The minister says Sassa employees ahev has the most COVID-19 cases in the country in terms of work spaces.

Zulu says Sassa applicants who were rejected should reapply

Zulu: Sassa will reassess the application monthly to make sure that the people who receive the grants qualify for them.

She says over 3 million 

The minister says over 4 million people have been approved to revive the special social grant.

Zulu: Please register your centres.

Zulu says funding for ECD for 2021 is open...

Zulu says ECD's have the responsibility to read the gazette to understand what is expected of them as they open creches.

"South Africa has the food. It's about how it's distributed." Zulu urges communities to work with them to help those in need.

Zulu says food security is a major issue her department is looking at. 

Zulu keeps referring to "looking at the storm in the eye,"

Zulu thanks 

Minister Lindiwe Zulu briefs the nation on Sassa and social development issues.

She starts off by thanking and acknowledging her team.

"I pay tribute to the healthcare workers and frontline workers..." Mkhize says.

"It's not up to the government, it's up to each and every one of us."

The minister says schools are open because they are learning how to live with the virus.

"We need to understand that COVID-19 is real. We trust the behaviour of our people to help us defeat this disease. We can never stop the infection but we can limit the spread." Mkhize said.

Mkhize: We have no vaccine. We have no cure.

Mkhize says only 50 people can attend a funeral. He condemns those who gather at after tears and says leave the funeral after the service.

"Those of us who venture out of our homes without masks, are being negligent." Mkhize says.

"We're confident we can supply enough hospital beds." Mkhize says.

Mkhize says Guateng's cases increased because of the tests conducted...
He says hospital beds have been increased. 

The minister says hospitals are still caring for people who suffer from hypertension, HIV/Aids, cancer, heart disease. He says people can rest assured that hospitals separate people with the different diseases.   

There is going to be a change in the number of self-quarantine days for positive people, Mkhize says. It will be announced later this week.

The minister suggests forums for communities to talk about COVID-19 and support each other.

Mkhize stresses the importance of isolation, quarantine when infected and just staying at home where possible. 

Stay at home. 

Mkhize says testing turnaround needs to be reduced to 48 hours.

"We still have a lot of capacity," Mkhize is adamant that there are enough hospital beds

The minister says they are dealing with the test results backlog.

The minister says the surge was expected but at a lower level. He says this all has to do with our behavious.

We are still under level 3 lockdown. Under level 3, there are no large gatherings allowed and the curfew is back. Mkhize says it's because of people gathering...

The minister says parts of the economy was opened so that people can keep their jobs.

The minister says they plead for patience and understanding from the public.

Mkhize now explains why alcohol sale and distribution is banned. With immediate effect. 

"Open windows in taxis. Open slightly," Minister Mkhize said.

"We're concerned that the consumption of alcohol in the country is high." Mkhize says.

Mkhize says many people were taken by surprise on the ban of the sale and distribution of alcohol decision but others welcomed it.

"No person should be allowed inside a taxi without a mask." The minister stresses.

Mkhize stresses that windows in taxis must be open. "

The minister says unfortunately taxis load at 100% but long distance taxis will operate at 70% capacity. This is to try to curb the spread of the virus.

"Studies done in Chine show that people sitting in a confined space for more than 20  minutes spread the virus quicker." Mkhize says

Mkhize says he's been in discussions with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on public transport.

Minister Mkhize says for those people who didn't take the virus serious, now is the time to "wake up."

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize now speak on what to expect from the Health Ministry under level 3.

Good afternoon and welcome back to EWN's live blog about the COVID-19 lockdown level 3 regulations that have to be adhered to.

Lamola says people are defying the rules. You can be prohibited from entering a public space if you are not wearing a mask.

Lamola says they had to make not wearing a mask a criminal offence because people were simply not adhering to this in public.

"It must be cool to move with a mask," says Lamola.

Dlamini-Zuma says making masks mandatory isn't about criminalising it, but protecting people.

Those of the Islam faith will be given permits to bury between 9pm and 4am should they need to.

Minister Mthembu says young people need to protect the elderly, hence the limit of family visits.

Dlamini-Zuma the majority of people dying of coronavirus are older.

If it is possible to work from home, we must continue to do so, Lamola says.

Permits will be required for those who are out during the curfew hours.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola is next.

"When people have taken liquor - some become violent, start killing each other. They drive recklessly creating accidents."

Inter-provincial travel is still not allowed without a permit.

"Visiting family is not allowed... by nature when you get to a family place, the instinct is to hug, the instinct is to be near them."

"The use of parks will be allowed for walking... but going to the beach is still not permitted."

"We must keep reminding ourselves that the virus doesn't move,it is spread by people."

"Communities must also ensure these regulations are adhered to."

"One of the things that we know becomes difficult when people are together enjoying to continuously wear masks and that is why the president announced that the sale, dispensing and distribution of alcohol is not allowed."

Dlamini-Zuma says we should avoid social gatherings. They are still not allowed.

She says wearing a mask is now mandatory. It's a collective responsibility. "You must be your brother's keeper."

She says the re-ban of alcohol was to help slow the spread of the virus.

She says government was forced to ease regulations to balance the need to save lives and the economy.

"This disease knows no class, no race, no gender, no social status... We must all work together to protect one another."

She says the situation would have been worse had measures taken by government not been implemented.

"Indeed, we are approaching the eye of the storm," Dlamini-Zuma says.

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma goes first.

Minister Jackson Mthembu sends condolences on the passing of Zindzi Mandela.

The briefing will now begin.


A recap of the revised regulations.

The sale of alcohol has again been banned by the NCC. What happens now? Ministers in the cabinet explain.