On 9 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown (“Lockdown”) would be extended for two-further weeks. The President further announced that amendments could be expected to the existing regulations published on 18 March 2020 (as amended) in terms of the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002 (“Regulations”). On 16 April 2020 further amendments to the Regulations were announced, which amendments are summarised below.
2.1 The lockdown is extended and accordingly, the Regulations (as amended) will subsist until at least 23H59 on 30 April 2020. As a result, every person is confined to their place of residence except for essential goods and services, urgent medical attention, or collecting social grants.
2.2 Directions issued in terms of the Regulations shall continue to apply unless varied, amended, or withdrawn by the applicable Cabinet member.
- Schools and Partial Care Facilities
All schools and partial care facilities are to remain closed until at least 30 April 2020, which period may be extended by the relevant Minister(s).
- Suspension of Visits
4.1 All visits by members of the public to
4.1.1 Correctional Centres (prisons);
4.1.2 Remand Detention Facilities;
4.1.3 Holding Cells;
4.1.4 Military Detention Facilities; and
4.1.5 Department of Social Development Facilities, including Child and Youth Care Centres, shelters, One Stop Shop Centres and Treatment Centres
are suspended for the period of the lockdown, which period may be extended by the relevant cabinet minister, but not beyond the duration of the State of Disaster.
- Transportation of Alcohol
In addition to the prohibition on the sale of alcohol, the amendments provide that no alcohol may be transported, except where it is required for industries producing hand sanitizers, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use and household cleaning products.
- Essential Goods and Services
6.1 Cargo currently at ports of entry may be transported to their intended destination or exported in order to decongest the ports of entry.
6.2 Stores which sell hardware products and vehicle components are required to maintain a register of persons buying essential goods are required to keep a signed declaration (in the specified form) by the purchaser thereof declaring that such goods are essential.
- Movement of Children
7.1 The movement of children between co-holder of parental rights and responsibilities is prohibited during the Lockdown except where arrangements are in place to move the children from one parent to another in terms of –
7.1.1 a court order;
7.1.2 where a parental rights and responsibilities agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate is in existence; or
7.1.3 the co-holder of parental rights and responsibilities is in possession of a birth certificate of the child or children to prove a legitimate relationship between the co-holders of parental rights and responsibilities,
provided that, in the household to which the child is to move, there is no person who is known to have come in contact, or is reasonably suspected to have come into contact with any other person known to have contracted or is reasonably expected to have contracted COVID-19 in the household to which the child is to move.
7.2 The parent or caregiver transporting the child concerned must have in his or her possession requisite documents listed in 7.1.1 to 7.1.3 above.
7.3 All forms must be completed in full, including full names, identity or passport numbers and full contact details as required, failing which the form will be rejected as invalid.
- Prohibitions on Evictions
No person may be evicted from their place of residence, regardless of whether it is a formal or informal residence or a farm dwelling, for the duration of the lockdown period.
- Covid-19 Designated Judges
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development may request a judge or a Constitutional Court Judge who has been discharged from active service to perform service as a Covid-19 Designated Judge.
- Supply of Energy and Petroleum Products
10.1 Coal mines which supply Eskom must remain operating at full capacity.
10.2 Refineries, including smelters, plants and furnaces, must continue to operate at full capacity to avoid fuel shortages.
- Mining Operations
Certain mining operations such as gold and coal mines may operate at a reduced capacity of no more than 50%, provided that –
11.1 a rigorous screening and testing program must be implemented as soon as employees return to work;
11.2 the mining industry must provide quarantine facilities for employees who have tested positive for Covid-19;
11.3 data collected during the screening and testing programme must be submitted to the relevant authority;
11.4 mining companies must make arrangements to transport their South African employees from their homes to their respective areas of operation;
11.5 workers from neighbouring Southern African Development Community countries must be recalled to their place of employment at the end of the lockdown period in their respective countries.
- Essential Goods
The following goods have been added to the list of “essential goods” –
12.1 hardware, components and supplies required by any qualified trade-persons solely for the purpose of emergency repairs at residential homes;
12.2 hardware, components and supplies required by any entity engaged in the provision of essential services for any project related to the provision of water, electricity, or other essential services; and
12.3 components for vehicles under-going emergency repairs where such vehicle is engaged by a person doing essential services work.
- Essential Services
The following services have been added to the list of “essential services” –
13.1 wholesale produce markets; informal fish traders (langanas); spaza shops, and informal fruit and vegetable traders, provided that spaza shops and informal fruit and vegetable traders require written permission from the municipal authority to operate (which permission shall last for one month after the end of the lockdown period)
13.2 services rendered by the SAHRC, the Gender Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, and the Public Protector;
13.3 call centres which are necessary to provide health, safety, social support government and financial services, debt restructuring for customers of commercial retailers, and access to short-term insurance policies as a result of reduced income or loss of income;
13.4 trades necessary for the rendering of emergency repair work, including plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, glaziers and roof-repair work;
13.5 trades necessary for emergency automobile repairs for persons rendering essential services; and
13.6 information and communication technology services rendered to entities and institutions engaged in delivering essential services.