The outbreak of Covid-19 has shaken things up both internationally and locally with the introduction of lockdowns across the globe.

50 Days of Lockdown: How we got here

CAPE TOWN – The outbreak of Covid-19 has shaken things up both internationally and locally with the introduction of lockdowns across the globe.

What started as initially as a 21-day national lockdown in South Africa on March 27 which saw the closing down of various industries including construction, agriculture and education, has turned into 50 days and counting. 

South African citizens saw the ban on cigarettes and alcohol and were unable to exercise outdoors or go for a jog in the streets.



President Cyril Ramphosa called in the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) to assist with implementing measures related to the nationwide lockdown and a list of critical businesses was drawn up to continue to support the health and safety of South Africans.

There were mixed reactions on social media as many thought the coronavirus was just all a scam, while others were in shock and got caught in the mass panic following fake news being spread on social media. 


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A lot of confusion aroused on whether people should wear face masks and gloves, shops hiked up their prices, and locals flocked in thousands to panic buy.

On March 29, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced in a statement that South Africa recorded its first two deaths as a result of the Coronavirus.



Video chats became the new form of ‘let’s catch up over a coffee’ and big businesses got on board by donating to help fight the Covid-19 outbreak.




March 30, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the mass roll-out of a screening and testing programmes involving over 10 000 healthcare workers. South Africans showed their support with messages to nurses, doctors and all essential workers who are in the front lines.

And while many universities and colleges had to either host virtual graduation or cancel the event altogether, some graduates took the liberty of planning their own “graduation ceremony” at home.


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Homeschooling became a reality for all kids, birthday parties were celebrated virtually and there was a boom in the online shopping sector and gaming industry.



It was not going to be an easy ride as relationships were put to the test, people were losing their jobs or taking salary cuts, and on everyone’s minds was: what will life be like after coronavirus?


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April 21, news broke of two South Africans who developed Covid-19 test kits and President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that R500 billion rand would be channelled into healthcare, vital municipal services and social relief.

From May 1, South Africa entered lockdown level four which meant that the stringent lockdown regulations were eased, a plan to re-open schools was being put into place and restaurants and food takeaways businesses would be open for deliveries only.

Throughout this turbulent ride, South Africa ranked second in the world for the most reliable Covid-19 news.  Citizens stood up united as people were getting desperate because of hunger and job losses. The global pandemic and national lockdown opened doors for innovation and creative ideas for future jobs. Leaders were shown which communities were most vulnerable.



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