Deputy Minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya has warned the public against hosting uncontrolled house parties while the country is still under level 2 of the lockdown.
Siweya made the call while addressing a seminar on the psychological, socio-cultural and economic impact of Covid-19 on Society.
Expressing her concern, Siwela said parties were becoming a norm during level 2 of the lockdown. She said those parties were likely to expose more people to the virus.
However, social house visits not exceeding 10 people are allowed under the level 2 regulations.
“Since the government announced the restricted times for people to buy alcohol, many in society are taking advantage to organise house parties. This will only worsen the situation and allow for the virus to spread.
“If it is not essential, our people should choose to stay at home. If they have to go out, they wear a mask, sanitize or wash their hands with soap regularly,” Siweya said.
She added that the government wanted to urge all South Africans to continue to work with the government to address the changes that manifest as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they must continue to adhere to regulations.
“When the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) announced the national lockdown, the intention was to save lives and allow the health system to build capacity. The unintended consequence is that our economy took a knock and as a result, many of our people lost their jobs, some families have slipped into poverty and others into depression.”
She further said the economy continues to contract and was likely to contract by more than 7%.
“As the domestic economy grapples with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 30.1% in the first quarter of 2020, reaching its highest level since 2008.
“The unemployment rate remains the highest among the youth, with the 15–24 years’ cohort recording a 59% unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2020, a 0.9% quarter-on-quarter increase,” said Siweya.
She added that as a result of Covid-19, Treasury estimates that job losses could range between 690 000 and 1.8 million.