President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to take part in the National Day of Prayer on Sunday, 31 May 2020.
Ramaphosa urged citizens to pray in their homes for divine intervention for the country to heal and overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
The President said a National Day of Prayer was needed as the country moves to level 3 of the lockdown from Monday.
On Saturday, the department of health announced that there were 30,967 cases of COVID-19 in the country – with 643 COVID-19 related deaths and 16,116 people that had recovered.
This comes as the President announced that places of worship were allowed to reopen under strict regulations in accordance with health and safety measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“We recognise and appreciate the important role the faith comm has played in the provision of spiritual relief and social support. Much of it has been done under diff circumstances with minimal resources. In such a time of crisis, the noble values that are shared by all faith communities have really come to the fore”, he said.
At the same time, basic education minister Angie Motshekga is expected to give an update on her ministry’s readiness to reopen classrooms.
There were mounting calls from different bodies for the reopening of schools to be postponed.
Motshekga gave schools that had not yet met COVID-19 health and safety standards a 10-day grace period, saying learning and teaching will start only when it was safe to do so.
Grade 7 and matric pupils are expected to return to class on Monday, 1 June 2020, after children were forced to stay home for at least two months due to the nationwide lockdown.