Political parties have urged South Africans to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations as Christmas celebrations get under way.
Their message comes amid a surge in coronavirus infections in the country, which are exacerbated by a new variant.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced tighter lockdown regulations in some parts of the country that have been declared hotspots.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on developments in the coronavirus pandemic:
African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Ace Magashule says as the governing party, they have set the example by cancelling the party’s annual January 8th birthday celebrations.
Magashule has appealed to citizens to observe all regulations.
“The prognosis paints a worrying picture and all indications are that this virus will escalate in terms of infections and that is why we have decided to ensure that we don’t have any events for January 8 and we are calling upon all South Africans and our structures to ensure that during this festive season people take care of themselves and wear masks and have no gatherings and ensure that we keep all South Africans safe.”
Do not lose hope
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen says South Africans should still remember the special joys of Christmas, despite the coronavirus second wave forcing people to have smaller gatherings.
The DA leader says South Africans should not lose hope.
“Christmas is a time of family, of sharing and of peaceful reflection. Just because we may be apart or spending the season alone, doesn’t mean that we cannot still share in the love, peace, and festive spirit that Christmas brings with it. While many of us are spending time apart from loved ones this year, we do so in the name of love for our fellow man and to me, there is no better sacrifice to show the true meaning of this holiday to all of us and so, on behalf of myself and the DA, I want to wish you a peaceful and restful Christmas.”
Remember those who less fortunate
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader, Velenkosini Hlabisa, has called on the country to remember and support those who have been directly affected by the pandemic.
“As we approach this Christmas Day, let us be mindful that many families have lost their income and their homes, let us, therefore, extend a hand of solidarity and support to a neighbour in need. This Christmas, I also want to thank every South African who pro-actively cares for our nation.”
Deputy President David Mabuza has also sent his well wishes:
Congress of the People spokesperson Dennis Bloem has urged South Africans to take responsibility for their own lives.
“A dark cloud is hanging over our heads, our joy and happiness has been turned into tears. Our wish is that all of us must take responsibility of our own health and lives. We wish everybody a Happy Christmas under these very difficult circumstances.”
Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald, says South Africans must keep hope alive during these trying times.
“The year 2020 will be known in history as an exceptional year, many people had to face exceptional challenges and many have lost their jobs and are still unemployed. But we have hope for the future and that hope lies in the true message of Christmas. May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas time and that you can experience his love in your own life and for the future.”
More than 14 000 people have tested positive for the virus overnight and 411 people have succumbed to it.
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