Call to disband Covid-19 command council, end national state of disaster
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Johannesburg – SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) is demanding that the government disband the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) as it is creating laws without Parliament’s oversight.
The institute on Thursday launched its “Disband the Command Council” petition, which is demanding that the national legislature amends the Disaster Management Act, which it says allows Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to declare a national state of disaster and extend it.
”The NCCC’s ability to make up de facto laws that define how you live and do business would evaporate if the national state of disaster was terminated,” the SAIRR said.
According to the SAIRR, the Constitution states that disaster management is a provincial competence and therefore the extension of the national state of disaster beyond the first three weeks after being declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March last year should have required the ascent of all nine premiers.
“Extending a disaster beyond 90 days should also depend on Dlamini Zuma going to the Constitutional Court to prove her case that the extension is absolutely necessary and is consistent with the Bill of Rights every time that an extension is sought,” the institute explained.
The SAIRR has warned that the NCCC appears to have been set up to last forever.
It claimed the NCCC is an “unelected super-legislator body” that has presided over the national state of disaster that has lasted more than 570 days.
The SAIIR’s petition against the NCCC will be sent directly to Parliament and Ramaphosa.
Dlamini-Zuma extended the national state of disaster again on Wednesday this week until November 15 and indicated that she took into account the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to address the impact of the disaster.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has written to Ramaphosa demanding transparency from the president on what is his administration’s proposed road map to end the national state of disaster.