The Eastern Cape legislature has postponed house sittings and committee meetings for 30 days as a precautionary measure as part of South Africa’s fight to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The legislature’s speaker Helen Sauls-August announced the measures in line with directives which President Cyril Ramaphosa’s set out on Sunday.
The tabling of policy speeches by the government departments and the legislature, which were scheduled to take place from 17 to 19 March, have also been postponed to April.
“One of the considerations that we had to look at was public involvement and attendance during the tabling of policy speeches, as public participation is one of the key constitutional imperatives of the legislature,” Sauls-August said.
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“The postponement of the tabling of policy speeches affords us an opportunity for the public to be able to attend the tabling. This decision will be reviewed after 30 days.”
Sauls-August added that the programming committee of the legislature was expected to meet on Tuesday to revise the programme and reschedule the postponed house sittings and committee meetings.
“All the decisions have been taken as precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.”
Ramaphosa declared the Covid-19 outbreak a national state of disaster on Sunday evening.
He announced drastic response measures to prevent the further spread of the virus, including travel bans and the closure of several ports of entry into South Africa.
Several universities have also opted to postpone their academic and sporting activities following the announcement.
On Monday, the number of confirmed cases stood at 62.