Many South Africans pastors, especially runners of mega ministries express their disappointment that their worship centres will not open even as the nation goes to Level 2 Lockdown Level by Monday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement during an address to the nation yesterday night.
The president has also announced that the controversial ban on the sale of tobacco products will fall away and alcohol sales will once more be permitted.
Mr. Ramaphosa cautioned South Africans not to let their guard down and to continue taking all the prescribed preautions and maintained that worship centres remain closed except 50 people and below gather.
He said: “As we continue to ease restrictions, the risk of infection does not diminish. In fact, the risk of infection becomes greater as more people return to work, as they move about more and as there are more opportunities to interact. We therefore cannot become complacent or abandon the health precautions that we know we need to take”.
A popular pastor anonymously said:” If the infection rate is going down and other services are opening, why can’t they open the churches. I also can’t understand why they keep the number of people to gather at 50. As we progressed, why has it not moved to may be, 100 0r 200. These people don’t respect the church”.
Pastor Dube (as he’s preferred to be called) from Soweto said his church members are not above 50 but argued that the church should be allowed to operate systematically and gradually. “We should have been moved from minimum of 50 people long ago. With what we read in the media, we should be allowed to gather much more than before. This country does not know the implication of technically silencing corporate gathering”.
LEVEL 2 LOCKDOWN CHANGES
- All restrictions on inter-provincial travel will be lifted.
Accommodation, hospitality venues and tours will be permitted according to approved protocols to ensure social distancing.
Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of operation and numbers of people.
Restrictions on the sale of tobacco will be lifted.
The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions.
Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.
Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.
Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, although everyone is urged to exercise extreme caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.
Reactions on social media is mixed: some Christians are not perturbed by the restriction that forbids more than 50 people to gather. Others say South Africa has kept the church inactive for too long.