Lockdown extension: Food security and sustaining WC economy vital, says Premier
When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension of the national lockdown on Thursday night, he highlighted government's ongoing efforts to support the country's most vulnerable.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says, along with preventing an economic meltdown in the Western Cape, ensuring food security amid escalating poverty is a top priority.
It just takes two weeks - two weeks without a pay cheque, two weeks without your business trading... it doesn't matter who it is that is involved in that value chain everybody is severely impacted.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
With the announcement of the extension, says Winde, they will be trying to trace not only Covid-19 patients but also those people who are in dire straits.
This last week was: How do we get more food into the system because as soon as you don't have that pay cheque, you fall outside of a social grant system, you now are in sort-of no man's landAlan Winde, Western Cape Premier
We're still even trying to track and trace where more and more people are sitting abiding by the rules, locked up in their home but the cupboard is bare.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Regarding support for businesses amid the current restrictions, Winde says the provincial government has already put forward suggestions about regulations that need to change.
He also emphasizes the creation of the kind of environment where entrepreneurs are able to re-invent themselves.
Entrepreneurs are going to have to come up with those ideas, but we have to create the environment that allows them that, so I said to the president yesterday: How do we enable the new normal under Covid conditions?Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
That new normal needs to be where those regulations create the space that is not going to spread the virus [look at the devastation in New York]... So, how do we create an environment where perhaps a restaurant can now produce food but not for seats in their restaurant, but they can have it delivered to a customer.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Citing another example, Winde says he's been calling for permission for the sale of electronic goods to enable businesses to work for home.
Also, why is the sale of seeds banned when it stops people from creating some sustainability by planting vegetables in their garden?
So we need to create that environment and we need to think about, very carefully, what are those changes we can put in place while still minimising the risk.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Winde reports that their suggestions were "positively" received by the president and they will be submitting further details for consideration.
We submitted yesterday I think it's 11 other issues that we need regulatory change on, right down to the one that came in right at the end - Alcoholics Anonymous are finding it very difficult to help people online and they've got to re-think a new model for themselves.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
There are so many things that change every single day and we've got to be responsive and understand that our job is to slow this virus, be prepared for when that spike comes and, at the same time, obviously don't have a total meltdown from an economic point of view.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Listen to the important discussion in detail below:
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