Deadly Third Wave Pushes Khanya College Move Back to ‘Lockdown Level 5’

Photo by Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters

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In the past few weeks, the rate of Covid-19 infections in South Africa, but particularly in Gauteng has risen so sharply that it is now accepted publicly that we are in the uptick of the third wave. In the past week it was reported that at least 1 in 4 people who got tested for COVID-19 was positive. According to multiple sources and reports, the third wave of COVID-19 in South Africa is proving to be more dangerous and fatal.

In response to the situation, the Khanya College Leadership Team met on Tuesday evening, 22 June 2021 to discuss and formulate a strategy and response to the escalating situation. The Khanya leadership firstly discussed the government’s lack of response to this third wave, in terms of the collapsing state of the health care system, the complete breakdown in basic service delivery to the working class on the one hand and the government’s refusal to enforce serious measures to protect the working class.

The Khanya leadership team discussed how it was irresponsible of the South African government to continue to keep schools, taxis, workplaces, restaurants and taverns, churches open and operating at full capacity at a time when we are watching the curve of infections rise rapidly each day and that it was irresponsible as an organisation oriented to the working class to continue to operate as normal. Collectively a decision was reached that evening that it is best that we as a College enter into our own ‘Level 5 Lockdown’ to protect our staff and the working class communities that we work with.

On 23 June, Khanya College informed all the stakeholders of the House of Movements (HOM) and Khanya’s partners that starting from 26 June for the next few weeks, the HOM will be locked down and closed until it’s safe in terms of the flattening of the curve of Covid-19 infections. Staff, interns and monitors will be working from home, and in their immediate community/ township. All physical workshops and meetings are suspended until further notice to decrease the level of exposure for everyone.

On 27 June, the President announced Level 4 Lockdown to go into effect from midnight 28 June. Under this Level, the big profit sectors of the economy remain completely open for business at full capacity (farms, mines, factories, and other workplaces), taxis and other modes of public transport still operate as normal and schools will only close by the end of the week. All despite the President’s acknowledgement that the 7th day of this third wave has surpassed the peak of South Africa’s first wave in July 2020 and second wave in January 2021.

It is clear that working class people have been sacrificed to keep the wheels of the economy turning and profits growing. The South African government has continued on its path of neglect, privatisation, and corruption, with the most minimal and cosmetic measures being taken to deal with the third wave and protect the working class from the ravages of this wave.

This press statement was released by Khanya College on 28 June 2021.

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