SA leaders don’t trust their citizens, who don’t trust their ...

Ideas

SA leaders don’t trust their citizens, who don’t trust their leaders

SA had to have a hard lockdown because we don’t trust our government. Little since has made us change our minds

Columnist

The difference between countries limiting freedoms during lockdown and those retaining freedoms depends on whether they have pre-existing open democratic cultures, higher levels of trust in their government and citizens with greater self-responsibility.

The severity of Covid-19 justifies restrictions on certain rights, resulting from the imposition of quarantine, limiting freedom of movement, increased surveillance and the use of technology to track the movements of people. However, the challenge for many countries has been to balance these limitations of freedoms with maintaining basic human rights, freedom of expression and not impinging on individual dignity.  

Countries can generally be divided into three groups in the way in which they responded to the pandemic. Some have opted for hard lockdowns, with strict rules, limits to freedoms and movements. Such countries include SA, Panama and Thailand. In Panama, men and women were designated different days to go on essential shopping trips. Like SA, Thailand banned sales of alcohol and imposed curfews...

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