Zweli Mkhize has already claimed that South Africa could move back to a harder form of lockdown on Tuesday. But in a follow-up interview, the health minister also revealed that a localised model may be the preferred way forward. For the residents of Gauteng, there's a chance you could be the first to encounter 'regional restrictions'.
How do you solve a problem like Gauteng?
Mkhize made it clear that there have been no decisions made about enforcing tougher regulations anywhere yet. The Cabinet has not sat down for these specific talks, but the health department is now considering the implications of a skyrocketing infection rate and a relaxed form of lockdown.
Minister Mkhize explained that Gauteng is something of a problem area, due to the way its metropolitan areas are connected. Shutting down districts would be tough, considering how intertwined they are.
Zweli Mkhize punts 'local lockdown' system
But, as he told SAfm, he's hoping that South Africans cooperate with any decision his department makes:
"There has not been any decision taken [to have another lockdown] and certainly the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) does not take lightly a decision of that nature. There may be a need in some areas for restrictions, it may not be national but localised. But no such decision has been taken as yet."
"One of the challenges with Gauteng is the fact that you have different metropolitan areas, which is one ecosystem. As we move into the future we need to be open-minded as to what our needs are. There are new ways of reviving our economy and social activities – that needs to be always remembered."Zweli Mkhize
We could not sustain the lockdown the way it was. We needed people to get back to their jobs and for the economy to be revived. We needed to do that under new circumstances where we use masks, social distance and sanitize our hands.@SAfmRadio— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) June 30, 2020