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FF Plus agrees with gradual relaxation of lockdown regulations, but law enforcement’s interpretation thereof remains a cause for concern

The FF Plus agrees that there needs to be a gradual relaxation of the lockdown regulations, but it remains unclear which regulations will be relaxed seeing as it has happened more than once that the government says one thing, but then something entirely different is implemented in practice.

One of the biggest complaints that the FF Plus has is that there are diverse interpretations of the regulations due to the government's inadequate and unclear communication regarding the matter.

Some of the relaxations to the regulations that were announced today are, nonetheless, contained in the submission that the FF Plus made to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the national disaster task team.

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, announced today that, among other things, mines can start functioning at half their capacity again.

This is a commendable attempt and a good example of how to allow people to gradually return to the workplace and it is in line with the views and recommendations of the FF Plus. The party supports such proposals.

However, the FF Plus does not at all agree with the standpoint of Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, who stated that neighbourhood and farm watch groups are not accountable and that no-one can lodge a complaint against them.

That is not true. These watch groups have always functioned publicly and should any of the members of these watch groups perform illegal acts, they can be held directly and personally accountable in accordance with common law.

That is a much more direct form of accountability than in the case of the police force where complaints against members must first go through the formal structure. The Minister of Police's argument that there is no accountability is totally unacceptable and the FF Plus condemns it.

The FF Plus will keep a close eye on the regulations as they are gradually relaxed and announced every week. The party is of the opinion that the recommendations it submitted will form an integral part of the decisions to relax some of the regulations.

Some of the FF Plus's recommendations that form part of today's announced changes relate to the information technology industry which is now considered essential under certain circumstances seeing as households have basically taken the place of offices and schools.

Another aspect that was addressed is hardware products. In its recommendations, the FF Plus stated that hardware products must be made available so that critical maintenance work can continue and the Minister of Trade and Industry made particular mention of it.

In light of today's changes, it is clear that the FF Plus's recommendations do carry weight and the party believes that its submission to the President and the national task team will play a significant role in steering things to gradually return to normal and ensuring economic recovery.

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