LIVE BLOG: R350 grants to return until March 2022 - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa is this evening addressing the nation on the country's progress on combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramaphosa concludes his address.

Ramaphosa: Our strength lies in our Constitution and our people who have defended our Constitution. 

Ramaphosa: While our acknowledged that our response to the riots was too slow, our security forces have demonstrated that they can maintain law and order. 

Ramaphosa: The COVID-19 TERS scheme applications are open and the UIF will facilitate payments as quickly as possible for workers who have not received income and those who have lost their jobs. 

Ramaphosa: We will be reprioritised funding for SMME affected by the pandemic. 

R350 grants will come back until March 2022. 

Ramaphosa: Law and order will be contained. There will be more arrests. No stone will be lefty unturned. 

Ramaphosa says government is now working to return ports and rails affected by the riots to full capacity. Specialised law enforcement units are working to bring those to book. 

Ramaphosa: We are still counting costs of violence. 

Over 300 lives were lost during these protests.

Ramaphosa now addresses the riots and acts of violence in KZN and GP.

18-34 to be vaccinated from 1 September.

On the vaccine front, Ramaphosa says the programme has made great strides. We are now administering 200,000 vaccines per weekday. 

Ramaphosa: as we ease restrictions, we must remember that infections remain high. 

Schools to resume tomorrow

 Sale of alcohol for onsite consumption will be allowed until 8 pm. 

Sale of alcohol for offsite consumption will be permitted from Monday-Thursday from 10 am and 6 pm. 

Ramaphosa: Attendence to funerals may not exceed 50. 

Hours of curfew will stay the same. from 10 pm until 4 am.

Ramaphosa: Cabinet has decided that the country should be moved from adjusted on alert 4 to adjusted alert level 3. This will take effect later this evening once regulations are gazetted. 

Ramaphosa says these new infections are being driven by the delta variant.

Ramaphosa says the number of new infections in Gauteng has steadily been declining. However, there are significant differences between provinces. Daily new infections in WC, EC and KZN continue to risde.

However, Ramaphosa says there are parts of the province that are still battling with overcoming the third wave. 

Ramaphosa: We need to do everything we can to contain the coronavirus.

"The latest stats show that we have passed the peak of the third wave."

Ramaphosa: We need to accelarate our plan to improve the economy so that we can create employment and drive economic growth. 

Ramaphosa: We need to ensure peace stability is restored in our country and sure it doesn't happen again. 

The president begins his address. 

Hospitality was one of the hardest-hit industries from last year's lockdowns and the tourism Business Council of South Africa said it has barely recovered.

The tourism sector has been calling for the easing of restrictions while the alcohol industry wants the booze ban lifted.

The question on everyone's mind is whether or not the president will lift the ban on the sale of alcohol. Especially after so many business were vandalised and the economy severly affected by the lootings and riot in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal following the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.

Two weeks ago, the president announced further lockdown measures under the adjusted level four restrictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

However, with the infection rate showing a downward trend this week and the recent riots having caused further economic damage, industries are hope that some of the stricter measures will be lifted.

To watch the address live, click on the link below.

South Africa is currently under adjusted level four of the lockdown for four weeks as it tried to curb the widespread of the third wave of the novel coronavirus.

At 20:30, the president is expected to address the nation 0 on developments in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Good evening and welcome to Eyewitness News' Live Blog on President Cyril Ramaphosa's address tonight.