South Africa extends lockdown until the end of April

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension to South Africa’s current 21-day lockdown, keeping restrictions in place until at least the end of April.

Ramaphosa said that the strict nationwide lockdown had slowed the rate of confirmed infections in the country over the past two weeks.

“While it is too early to make a definitive analysis in South Africa, there is sufficient evidence that the lockdown is working,” he said. “But the struggle against the coronavirus is far from over. We are only at the beginning of a monumental struggle. This evening I ask you to endure even longer.”

During his address, Ramaphosa also announced that senior government officials, including himself, will take a one-third pay cut over the next three-months. The portion will be donated to the country’s solidarity fund, set up to aid the country’s coronavirus response.

Ramaphosa said that any decisions to ease restrictions needed to be cautious and calibrated.

“Our immediate priority must remain to slow down the spread of the virus and prevent a massive loss of life,” he said. “This is a matter of survival and we will not fail.”

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