18 January 2021

COVID-19 State of Disaster & From the Government Gazette


A notice extending the State of Disaster until 15 February was gazetted on 12 January.


The list was updated on 29 December 2020.


  • The Covid-19 disaster management regulations for adjusted lockdown level three were amended on 11 January to reflect measures announced in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation. Among other things, the revised regulations:
    • confirm that the hours of curfew now end at 05:00 (beginning at 21:00 the previous evening)
    • list the circumstances in which land ports closed for ‘general entry and departure’ until 15 February may allow cross-border movement, and
    • expressly prohibit faith-based and all other social gatherings, along with gatherings at political events, traditional council meetings, sports grounds and sports fields.
  • Key provisions in the first set of adjusted lockdown level three regulations (as amended) are still in force and, among other things:
    • require all public indoor and outdoor venues where gatherings are permitted to close at 20:00, hotspots included
    • require venues where gatherings are permitted to operate between 09:00 and 18:00 only, hotspots included
    • cap at 50 and 100 respectively the number of people allowed to participate in any indoor or outdoor activity (subject to adherence to social distancing and health/hygiene protocols), hotspots included
    • in hotspot areas, require every business premise (including supermarkets, shops, grocery stores, produce markets and pharmacies) to limit to 50% the floor space occupied by customers and employees at any given time (subject to adherence to social distancing and health/hygiene protocols)
    • in non-hotspot areas, require every business premise (including supermarkets, shops, grocery stores, produce markets and pharmacies) to calculate the number of customers and employees allowed to be present at any given time (factoring in floor space and standard social distancing protocols, and subject to implementing mandatory health/hygiene measures)
    • cap at 50% of capacity the space any small venue may open to the public (subject to adherence to social distancing and health/hygiene protocols), hotspots included
    • cap the number of attendees at a funeral to 50, limiting its duration to two hours, hotspots included
    • close all public swimming pools nationwide, except for professional training and competitions
    • close all beaches, dams, lakes and rivers to the public in all hotspots
    • allow fishermen with permits/exemptions to visit closed beaches for fishing only
    • allow beaches in non-hotspot areas to remain open to the public, but only between 06:00 and 19:00
    • make wearing a face mask mandatory and non-compliance a punishable offence
    • prohibit traditional initiation practices nationwide, although those already attending initiation schools in the Eastern Cape will be ‘allowed to complete’ the process (noting that post-initiation ceremonies are nevertheless prohibited), and
    • prohibit the sale, distribution and dispensing of alcohol for on- and off-site consumption everywhere nationwide, including at ‘registered wineries, wine farms and other similar establishments registered as micro-manufacturers’.




  • On 14 January, a notice was gazetted:
    • clarifying announcements made by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on cross-border movement through land ports closed other than for essential/emergency services/travel
    • extending the validity of certain expired:
      • asylum seeker permits
      • documentation confirming refugee status, and
      • Lesotho special permits, and
    • listing the limited services now available at Home Affairs offices.


  • On 15 December 2020, a Government Gazette notice was issued amending provisions in a 3 December health notice by relaxing certain requirements affecting:
    • airline crew, and
    • cross border freight operators.


  • On 14 and 24 December 2020, notices were gazetted extending the validity period of certain expired:
    • tourist/charter transport service licences
    • tourist/charter transport service accreditation certificates, and
    • inter/intra-provincial service operating licences.


  • On 5 January, a Government Gazette notice set out the measures to be taken at sports, arts and culture facilities and venues for the duration of adjusted lockdown level three. Among other things, they:
  • specify the personnel permitted to enter a sports venue during a match
  • prohibit alcohol consumption at sporting events and at public parks
  • prescribe 20:00 as ‘cut-off time’ for all sports matches
  • specify which venues and premises are closed to the public nationally and in hotspots
  • prescribe the measures to be taken at gyms and fitness centres, including:
    • adherence to stringent health/hygiene protocols and ventilation requirements, and
    • the closure of saunas, steam rooms and childcare facilities, and
  • refer the ‘owners’ of museums, galleries, libraries, archives, cinemas, theatres, gyms and fitness centres to:
    • provisions in the 2010 Safety at Sports & Recreational Events Act affecting large venues
    • municipal bylaws on event hosting
    • their obligations regarding the development and implementation of a plan to mitigate exposure to Covid-19, and
    • the mandatory display of a venue’s carrying capacity, as verified by the relevant municipality.




  • Justice:
  • the South African Law Reform Commission has called for comment on a discussion paper dealing with ‘the possible adoption a single marriage statute’
  • amendments have been made to Legal Practice Council rules on advertisements, interviews and practical vocational training contracts involving prospective and existing candidate legal practitioners or pupils, and
  • the Prescription in Civil & Criminal Matters (Sexual Offences) Amendment Act is now in force.


  • Environment:
  • draft nuclear non-proliferation regulations have been gazetted for comment
  • the regulations on phasing-out and managing ozone-depleting substances have been amended
  • amendments have been made to four sets of producer responsibility regulations, and
  • a 10-year national botanical garden expansion strategy has been gazetted for implementation.


  • Health:
    • the Office of Health Standards Compliance has published an enforcement policy on norms and standards in place since February 2019.


  • Communications:
    • proposed amendments to the 2011 regulations on municipal elections broadcasts and political advertisements have been gazetted for comment.


  • Trade, Industry and Competition:
  • The Competition Commission has published its final forestry sector report, and
  • the 2013 policy directive on scrap metal preferential pricing has been extended once again.


  • Finance:
    • the banking regulations were amended on
      • 18 December 2020, and
      • 31 December 2020 (both sets of amendments came into effect on 1 January)
    • The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has issued a guidance note on the 2 November 2020 Supreme Court of Appeal pension fund regulations judgment, and
    • the FSCA has also released a research report on open finance.


  • Home Affairs:
    • two draft policies have been gazetted for comment, focusing on:


  • Public Service and Administration:
    • a draft framework for professionalising the public service has been released for comment.


Prepared by Pam Saxby

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