President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa’s schools are ready to re-open on Monday.
The president’s announcement comes a day after the country’s Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, inferred the same in her media briefing on Saturday morning.
The minister said the reopening pf schools hinges on the president’s announcement.
Motshekga said the School Management Teams and support staff, have already gone back to work, as from Thursday, 22 July to prepare for the return of learners and teachers.
Adding that based on the information obtained from provinces, schools are ready to continue to work within the established Covid-19 health protocol, and they are also ready to resume full school attendance in the primary schools from 2 August.
In his address on the progress in the national effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic on Sunday evening, Ramaphosa confirmed the re-opening of schools.
He said the schools will open in accordance with strict health protocols and other measures announced by the Minister of Basic Education.
The president said overall, the decline in new infections means that it is possible to gradually ease some of the restrictions on gatherings, movement and other restrictions.
He said based on the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19, and inputs from the President’s Coordinating Council, as week as Cabinet decided that the country should be moved from Adjusted Alert Level 4 and be placed on Adjusted Alert Level 3.
The latest figures on Covid-19 infections suggest that the country has largely passed the peak of the third wave of infections.
There are, however, areas in the country where citizens should still be concerned because the rates of infection have not yet shown signs of decline.
“The measures that we put in place for the past 28 days, alongside the continued adherence of South Africans to basic health precautions, have been effective in reducing the rate of infection.
“The average number of daily new infections over the last week was around 12,000 new cases a day, which represents a 20 per cent drop from the previous week.
“In the last two weeks, the number of new infections in Gauteng – which has been the epicentre of the third wave – has steadily been declining,” said Ramaphosa.
He added that although the infection rate in Gauteng is beginning to fall, daily new infections in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZuluNatal continue to rise.
There has also been a concerning rise of infections in the Northern Cape after a period of relative stability,” he said.
He added that the infections prevalent in all these cases are being driven by the Delta variant, which according to the Department of Health is far more transmissible than previous variants.