(Ecofin Agency) - On the night of March 23, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced a nationwide lockdown of 21 days effective midnight on Thursday 26 March, ending on April 16th, 2020, to limit the propagation of covid-19 in the country. But the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel (pictured) says telecom workers are not strictly included in the decision.
“We regard digital infrastructure as a critical service and will ensure that both fixed-line and mobile telephony systems are maintained during South Africa’s 21-day lockdown,” he said.
“Workers and professionals connected with any of those services will be exempted from the lockdown because those are critical means of communication, and also (to provide for) economic activity that can be done from home,” he added.
Since the closure of schools and universities, and the ban on meetings, connectivity consumption has jumped across the country and some telecom operators such as MTN have lowered the cost of Internet bundles.