President Cyril Ramaphosa says the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will continue to meet despite the lifting of the state of emergency over the pandemic.
The council was convened in March 2020 in response to the global Covid19 pandemic. It is made up of several ministers and stakeholders.
In his address to the nation at the dawn of the national state of emergency, Ramaphosa said the council will “meet three times a week to coordinate all aspects of our extraordinary emergency response”.
It made several controversial decisions, including bans on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products.
After 750 days, the national state of emergency was lifted last month. However, Ramaphosa said the council would live on.
In response to a written parliamentary question from DA MP Dean Macpherson, Ramaphosa said the council would remain as a committee within the cabinet.
Hey said the council is not dependent on the national state of emergency.
“The NCCC continues to perform this function as while the national state of emergency has been lifted, the Covid-19 pandemic is unfortunately not over yet”, said Ramaphosa.
He explained how the council will work.
“The NCCC was appointed by Cabinet at its March 15, 2020 meeting as the Cabinet Committee to coordinate the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The NCCC makes recommendations to Cabinet on actions needed to deal with the pandemic.
“As a Cabinet Committee – which, like all other Cabinet Committees, was set up to assist the work of Cabinet in the form that the Executive Branch best appears practical or useful – the existence of the NCCC is not conditional on a national state of emergency being in effect.”
Several civic groups, advocates and opposition parties have challenged the constitutionality of decisions made by the council in recent two years ago claimed it was illegitimate and called for its powers to be reduced.
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