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Back to work for over 1.5m South Africans as the rules of the lockdown are eased.

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The lockdown has been moved to stage four and it will see other people going back to work but however the stringent laws that prohibits the movement of private citizens still remain.

The biggest beneficiary of the government’s move to relax it’s lockdown is the economy .More than 1.5-million employees will resume their jobs next week under the level four lockdown that will start on Friday.

The government seems to have listened to the appeals from many companies to open the economy after being locked for 30 days , most sectors are expected resume for the first time in 30 days.

The stage four of lockdown will see South Africans being able to buy items they could not buy for the past month some of the items include cellphones, cigarettes computers, warm clothes and people can now order hot food for delivery, but the government has implemented a curfew to prohibit the movement of people between 8pm and 5am.

It is now compulsory for people to wear face mask in public.House gatherings and traveling to other provinces is still illegal.

The minister of co-operative governance Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the minister of trade & industry Ebrahim Patel said that 40% of the workforce is anticipated to return to work starting from next week to help boost the economy which is said to have lost between R14bn and R20bn a day over the past four weeks

Patel said moving to resume the economy “has been a challenging and complex process and a difficult balancing act”.

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Dlamini-Zuma cautioned that even though the virus is under control for now, if care is not take SA could go back to level five.

The relaxing of restrictions was greatly welcomed by business and cautiously by trade unions, but both were concerned about allowing the sale of cigarettes.

Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu liked the phased reopening of the economy, saying the planned return for some sectors will give a chance for business to carry some of the burden of Covid screening and testing.

Nolo Moima said
“We like the fact that the government is moving some of the responsibilities, in a systematic way, to the private sector.When the private sector goes back to work they must have all those health regulations, which include testing, screening and sanitisation. This will reduce the burden on the government and move it to the private sector. We would rather be at work but take the responsibility of making sure our employees are safe. If by any chance the place of work becomes contaminated, that place will be shut down .”

However, Zungu said he was “shocked” by the state’s decision to remove the ban on cigarette sales. “It undermines the whole theory around the link between cigarettes and the damage it has to the lungs, and the commercial aspects really does not add up. We will be loot for explanation from the respective ministers but we are not happy at all with that move.

The secretary-general of the South African Federation of Trade Unions, Zwelinzima Vavi, said the relaxing of the lockdown will help rebuild a the dying economy. But he also said that some of the state decisions do not make sense. “For instance, all along we were told that smoking can increase chances of getting the coronavirus since smoke cause damage to the lungs so people should abstain from it.So it makes no sense to allow people to smoke whilst the Coronavirus is still a threat to the people

SOURCE:ENCA