Eased lockdown restrictions a step forward in opening up the country
26 July 2021
STATEMENT BY ALDERMAN JAMES VOS, MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES
I welcome the move to lockdown level 3, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as this, in addition to the reinstated TERS benefits and heightened vaccine rollout, will go a long way to saving livelihoods and means we have moved a big step forward in opening up the country.
The easing of lockdown restrictions is a big step in the right – and necessary – direction as the country moves over the peak of the third wave.
These latest measures, in addition to the reinstated Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits, can go a long way to assisting business owners and their employees stave off complete ruin.
I must however ask that the Labour Department urgently respond to concerns raised by people who have applied for TERS payments and been met with challenges. Some businesses says they still have TERS payments due to them from previous phases of the relief scheme.
Sadly, there are many businesses that have already been forced to the brink of survival. To them and others, I urge you to please reach out to The Business Hub team who can put you in touch with agencies who can help with funding or productivity. You can reach them via email email@example.com or go to the website www.capetown.gov.za/businesshub
In terms of the vaccine rollout, I’m gladdened to see that we have overcome the initial hiccups and are now administering around 230 000 jabs a day. In the coming weeks, we will be going live with the province’s first drive-through vaccination site at Athlone Stadium, a strategic asset within the Economic Opportunities and Asset Management Directorate. This will help us reach thousands more people every day in Athlone and surrounding communities.
Last week, we also welcomed the news that Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to partner with the Cape Town-based Biovac Institute to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines as soon as next year. Once it is fully operational, the facility will be able to distribute 100 million doses to countries across Africa. The announcement is also an endorsement of the innovation that Cape Town has become renowned for and proof that the city is a continental leader when it comes to technology and manufacturing.
While this is all positive news, now is not the time to lose focus and keep our eyes on the end goal which is vaccinating enough people to achieve herd immunity so that we can open up the country. So let’s keep looking out for each other: wear those masks, sanitise, and if you’re eligible, get vaccinated. Go to https://www.capetown.gov.za/general/coronavirus-updates for updated information.