Friday | 17 April | 2020
By Reon Janse van Rensburg
On Thursday 16 April 2020, the day on which the original lockdown was supposed to end, government announced new regulations regarding the national lockdown. The regulations may bring some relief to some of us.
Changes to the initial lockdown regulations introduce the second phase of the national lockdown in South Africa.
The minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the new regulations are mainly in addition to the existing regulations put in place before the lockdown was extended.
She said that further relaxations of the regulations could be expected in the coming weeks but was not prepared to go into detail about schools and when they would open. With regard to industries she mentioned that they will have to come on stream slowly as part of an orderly way of easing the lockdown.
The new regulations have already been published in the Government Gazette. The regulations enjoy law status and violation of the regulations is prosecutable under criminal law.
Below follows a list of things we know so far about the new lockdown regulations:
Businesses that can repair vehicles for essential services may reopen. From now on, you may also call an electrician or a plumber for emergencies at home.
The new regulations recognise the need that the vehicles of essential workers may breakdown during this period and will have to be repaired. According to Dlamini-Zuma this amendment was introduced so mechanics can return to work for this purpose.
The same applies to plumbers and electricians who can be called out to deal with emergencies for household clients.
Other artisans that may be called for emergencies include:
- Roof repairers
The ban on the transport or sale of alcohol stands but
The new regulations make provision for alcohol being transported for commercial purposes such as for use in the manufacturing of sanitisers.
The sale of cigarettes still prohibited
The new regulations make no mention of cigarettes and the ban on the sale of cigarettes is therefore still in place.
Neighbourhood watch organisations still not allowed to patrol their areas
According to police minister Bheki Cele, there are currently no plans to allow neighbourhood watch organisations to resume patrolling their neighbourhoods. However, he said that formal security guard companies may use guards to protect property.
According to Cele there are two problems with allowing neighbourhood watch groups to operate, namely there is no structure to hold them accountable for their actions, and unlike the police and soldiers, they are not “vetted and known”.
Children may move between parents but subject to conditions
According to Dlamini-Zuma moving children between divorced parents will be possible as long as the parents can produce at least a birth certificate to prove the connection with their children.
No change in funeral rules
Dlamini-Zuma confirmed that regulations on attending funerals will remain the same. She said that funerals are still strictly for 50 people and that close family members who need to travel to attend a funeral will still need a magistrate to sign off a permit.
Hardware and car part stores may do business – but only for emergency supplies
Hardware, components and supplies needed by tradespeople for emergency repairs at homes will now be included in the list of essential goods.
The hardware and supplies needed by institutions such as hospitals may also be sold. Strict rules are in place that will allow for the prosecution of anyone who tries to buy non-essential hardware.
Car parts may also be purchased but only for the purpose of repairing any vehicle used by a person engaged in essential services work.
Stores selling hardware products and vehicle parts must keep a register of persons buying essential goods and must keep a record of a signed declaration from the buyer that the goods are essential.
More call centres may open, including those for retailers
Because store credit cards are covered by insurance policies, which need to be activated, more call centres will be allowed to open, including those for retailers.
In terms of the new regulations call centres necessary to provide health, safety, social support, government and financial services, debt restructuring for consumers or retailers and access to short-term insurance policies as a result of reduced income or loss of income, may operate.
Restrictions on exports have been eased so that the country’s ports are not congested when the lockdown is lifted.
All the mines that supply services or products to Eskom must be fully operational and refineries should work at full capacity to ensure that there will be enough fuel for all consumers when the lockdown is lifted.
Strict conditions will apply to miners returning to work and screening and testing will be done to determine whether an employee is fit to return to work.
* All information was correct at the time of publication.