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The government has extended the National State of Disaster by another month. It was meant to expire on Wednesday 15 March but has since been extended to 15 April.

It was first declared at the end of March 2020, almost two years ago. Initially, the state of disaster was meant to lapse on 15 June 2020, legislation provisions meant that it could be extended on a monthly basis through the publication of a notice in the Government Gazette.

The extension was announced by Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. In a statement released by the department, Dlamini-Zuma said that the extension was granted to give the government enough time to “continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements”.

This will buy the government some time to set everything in place for when the state of disaster is eliminated permanently.

News24 reports that Dlamini-Zuma’s announcement comes after a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Monday. NCCC members’ deliberations on alternative regulations are understood to have been inconclusive.

The country was holding its breath with the hope that the state of disaster will be eliminated but had to deal with the disappointment of it having been extended.

Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele said that the government’s plans to end the state of disaster is because of the possibility of a fifth wave hitting the country as soon as next month. It’s concerned about the alcohol bans and curfews should there be another wave.

Image credit: CGTN Africa

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