JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa says rising COVID-19 numbers were expected during winter and lockdown regulations had to be relaxed to preserve people’s livelihoods.
Almost 160,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 in South Africa.
“The reality is that we could remain under lockdown forever, people need to earn a living, learners need to continue with their education and businesses need to be reopened,” he said.
Ramaphosa says the country will have to suffer through a dark period of unemployment and a weak economy.
He says the government will focus more on initiatives in the construction sector for relief.
“Our economy will shrink, unemployment will rise, the government will have to borrow more and at least in the middle term, South Africans will on average will be poorer.”
South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll is 2749.