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EDITORIAL | It’s time to end the state of disaster

Ideas

EDITORIAL | It’s time to end the state of disaster

Well intentioned it may be, but the state is going to have to start moving away from this unsustainable legislation

Editorial

On Friday, a typically short gazette from cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was published. Its contents are straightforward.

The national state of disaster has been extended by another month to February 15. This, the gazette reads, takes into account the need to “continue augmenting existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by some organs of state to address the impact of the disaster”.

It is not an unexpected deadline extension, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and that the country has just started emerging from a fourth wave of infections. It is also unsurprising the government has gone the extension route given this piece of legislation has been used to enforce all of the country’s coronavirus-related laws, from mask-wearing mandates to the controversial tobacco and alcohol bans...

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