Johannesburg – Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Thursday said there must be a balance between protecting the health of the people and their livelihoods, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The provincial executive has been briefed by the Covid-19 advisory committee that lockdown regulations may be relaxed gradually.
This is because of the decline in new cases recorded since July, however, the province has been cautioned that another peak is expected to hit it in September.
In this situation, Makhura can either allow the complete reopening of the economy and risk the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths or he can keep a conservative approach and possibly see poverty skyrocket.
It has been forecast that 2-million jobs will be lost in Gauteng by the end of the pandemic, adding to South Africa’s already bleak employment outlook
Makhura said this month is dedicated to addressing this. Wellbeing has got many facets; if people who used to work no longer work, it has an impact on their mental health and ability to feed themselves and their families.”
Makhura added that it cannot be ignored that some of the province’s mass infections were seen when industries like mining were reopened on the West Rand.
He said it was important to ensure that the measures that have helped flatted the curve remain in place.