The DA has opposed plans to close the country’s beaches, saying the closure will potentially increase the spread of Covid-19.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation tonight about the government’s response to the second wave of Covid-19 infections in SA.
According to reports, among other things, the president may announce the closure of beaches in coastal provinces to combat the spread of rising infections.
The Sunday Times reported that health minister Zweli Mkhize has issued a stern warning, saying South Africans needed to make a choice between life or sickness and death.
“If we choose life, then we must realise we have to make sacrifices during this festive season,” he said.
DA MP Manny De Freitas said closing beaches during the festive season would be an “illogical political decision”.
He said closing beaches at this time of the year, when many people flock to the coast, will bury the tourism, travel and accommodation sectors nearby.
“Instead of draconianly closing beaches, government should rather ensure that open air areas, such as beaches, are kept open and that protocols such as social distancing are followed. Science shows the spread of the coronavirus is dramatically reduced in outdoor environments such as beaches,” said De Freitas.
He said government should be encouraging people to congregate outdoors and not inside, where the virus spreads more easily.
“The reality is that if holidaymakers are prevented from going to beaches, they will instead congregate in areas such as shopping centres, exactly the places where large crowds should not be congregating,” he said.
“We again encourage government to do whatever it can to save jobs. Saving jobs and livelihoods are intricately linked.”