The cabinet has come out strongly against claims that an individual minister has single-handedly overruled her colleagues when it comes to lockdown regulations.
In a post-cabinet statement which gave a detailed outline of the process followed by the government before coming to decisions on the lockdown, the cabinet condemned the notion that decisions were not made collectively.
The condemnation follows weeks of reports around Cogta minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s opposition to the lifting of the ban on the sale of tobacco products, which has been in place since the start of the lockdown in March.
While President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the sale of liquor — which has also been banned since March — will be permitted from Monday June 1 when the country moves to level 3 of the Covid-19 alert lockdown, tobacco sales remain prohibited.
“The operational and technical management of Covid-19 interventions is driven by the national joint operational and intelligence structure (NatJoints) and the department of health.
“NatJoints is a multidisciplinary co-ordinating structure of government that is activated to manage large projects.
The cabinet explained that NatJoints receives reports from different departments and submits proposals to directors-general (DGs) to develop recommendations that are presented to the national coronavirus command council (NCCC).
The NCCC deliberates the DGs’ recommendations and also makes its own recommendations to the cabinet where proposals, including regulations, are approved.
“This process ensures that the executive takes collective decisions that are consensual and inclusive. Therefore, the cabinet condemns in the strongest possible terms false suggestions that individual members of the executive are responsible for recommendations that emanate from the NCCC or decisions taken by the cabinet.”