Programme Director and Acting DG for Social Development, Mr Linton Mchunu;
Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu;
CEO of SASSA, Ms Totsie Memela-Khambula;
CEO of NDA, Ms Thamo Mzobe;
Members of the media,
As you are aware, all of South Africa is under level 4 of the Risk-Adjusted Strategy for 14 days due to a resurgence of COVID-19 infections from the virus over the past few weeks. What is now clear is that we need to do more together as a nation to bring the new and more transmissible Delta variant under control while Government is rolling out the mass vaccination programme across the country. Now more than ever, we must pull together and resist the temptation to let our guard down.
As a Portfolio, our most immediate response is to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic and to prevent people’s situation from getting worse by intervening earlier and providing appropriate and timely services. In this regard, we have again activated our alert level response measures to deal effectively with the anticipated increased demand for our services, as previously experienced under the same alert level last year. We welcome the restrictions on alcohol sales under the adjusted level 4, given its contribution to the rise in trauma cases and additional burden it places on our hospitals in the midst of the pandemic.
When the country was at Level 4 and 5 respectively, saw a drastic decrease in Gender Based Violence and Femicide cases across the country. This can be attributed to the limited or non-sale of alcohol, which is the most widely used psycho-active substance in the country, especially amongst our young people.