Friday | 24 April | 2020
By Reon Janse van Rensburg
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Thursday night, 23 April and announced that five different levels of lockdown will slowly but surely have the country returning to normal and explained that the phases will be phased in gradually.
According to the president, government will implement a risk-based strategy which means that the government will take a deliberate, yet careful approach to alleviating current lockdown restrictions.
“We decided on this approach because the rate and manner in which the virus spreads among South Africa’s population is still unknown. The action we are taking now must therefore be measured and incremental,” said the President.
The approach consists of five levels which entails the following:
Drastic measures are needed to curb the spread of the virus to save lives:
- Only essential services are allowed
- Public transport is limited and subject to certain times of the day
- No movement/journeys between provinces are allowed (with exceptional permission for funerals)
Some activities are allowed to resume, subject to extreme precautionary measures needed to limit the spread and break out of the virus in the community:
- All essential services and food retailers are allowed to sell all products (except alcohol) in their shops
- All agricultural, landscaping and export of agricultural products such as wool and wine, and some other product may resume
- Forestry, pulp and paper are resumed
- Mining – Open cast mines at 100% capacity and other mines at 50% capacity
- All financial and professional services are resumed
- International services and export markets
- Postal and telecommunications services
- Fibre-optic and IT services
- Formal waste recycling (glass, plastic, paper and metal)
This entail relief of some restrictions, including on work and social activities to curb the risk of a high spread:
- Licensing and permitting services, deeds offices and other government services designated by the Minister of Public Service and Administration
- Take-away restaurants and online food delivery
- Liquor retail within restricted hours
- Clothing retail
- Hardware stores
- Stationery, personal electronics and office equipment production and retail
- Books and educational products
- E-commerce and delivery services
- Clothing and textile manufacturing (at 50% capacity)
- Automotive manufacturing
- Cement and steel
- Machinery and equipment
- Global business services
- SANRAL construction and maintenance
- Transnet at 100%
Limitations: Limited domestic air transport and limited train transport with strict hygiene measures.
This involves further alleviating of restrictions, but maintaining social distancing and limiting some recreational and social activities to prevent a virus recurrence:
- All other retail
- All other manufacturing
- Mining (all mines at 100% capacity)
- All government services
- Installation, repairs and maintenance
- Domestic work and cleaning services
- Informal waste-pickers
Other information: Domestic flights and car rental services restored.
Movement between provinces at Level 1 and 2 restrictions.
Most activities can continue with precautionary measures in place and health guidelines that must be followed at all times:
- All sectors can return to work
- Limitations on international travel
- Travel between provinces are allowed
The President mentioned that businesses would be allowed to resume business activities in a phased manner, but only after the workplace was prepared to do so in a safe and responsible manner. Only a third of staff will be allowed to return to the workplace during level 4 restrictions.
Businesses are also encouraged to adopt a “work-from-home” strategy if possible.
Several ministers will provide more detail on the gradual reopening of schools, educational institutions and other sectors.
Ramaphosa also mentioned that sectors can still negotiate with the involved departments about the reopening of sectors.
Border will also remain closed to international travellers except for the continued repatriation of South African citizens and foreign nationals in South Africa. No travel between provinces is allowed, except for funerals, the transport of good and exceptional circumstances. Public transport can continue to operate with a limitation to the number of passengers, but strict precautions must be taken.
Exercise will be allowed but under strict conditions. There is no further clarity on this yet. Elderly people and people with underlying health conditions are requested to stay at home.
* All information was correct at the time of publication.