13 July 2020

COVID-19 State of Disaster & Lockdown Regulations: Update (13 July 2020)


State of Disaster extended

In his address to the nation on 12 July, President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the State of Disaster to 15 August.

Amended regulations

  • Gazetted on 12 July, the amendments:
    • are the latest changes to the 29 April regulations (following those made on 25 June and 28 May)
    • re-impose a 21:00 to 04:00 curfew, confining everyone to their homes except those with permits to leave them
    • make a face mask or similar item mandatory in:
      • all public spaces
      • workplaces (where they should be provided by the employer)
      • schools, and
      • early childhood development facilities
    • require any child arriving at a school or early childhood development facility without a face mask to be:
      • provided with one, or
      • where no mask is available, to be:
        • isolated until collected by their parent/guardian/caregiver, and
        • sent home
    • makes it an offence for the following people to allow anyone without a face mask to enter the space for which they are responsible:
      • public transport operators
      • the managers of premises offering goods or services (including government buildings)
      • employers
      • school principals
      • the owners or managers of early childhood development facilities
    • allow buses and taxis to carry passengers at 100% capacity for all journeys less than 200km
    • allow anyone exercising rigorously in a public space to do so without wearing a mask (but only if observing social distancing measures)
    • reimpose the ban on liquor sales
    • prohibit the authorities concerned from considering any special or event-related applications for liquor licences during the State of Disaster
    • regarding tobacco products:
      • confirm that these may still be exported
      • allow tobacco farmers to sell their produce to local processors or manufacturers, and
      • allow tobacco processors to sell their products to manufacturers, and
    • expressly apply health and social distancing protocols to agricultural auctions.


  • A ministerial directive gazetted on 7 July earmarked 20 and 27 July and 17 and 31 August for the phased reopening of all remaining grades and classes.
  • Grades and classes scheduled to resume teaching and learning on 20 July are:
    • Grades 3 and 10
    • school of skills year three
    • schools for learners with severe intellectual disabilities Grades R, 3 and all final/occupational year classes
    • schools for learners with severe and profound intellectual disabilities year three classes, and
    • the final year classes of schools for autistic learners.
  • The directive requires any provincial MEC responsible for education unable to comply with directions on the phased return of learners and officials to a specific grade or class to:
    • explain why
    • indicate when that grade or class will reopen
    • submit the necessary report ‘at least seven days’ before the date scheduled for the affected grade to resume its activities, and
    • include in the report a plan for addressing the issues concerned.


Early childhood development


  • On 10 July, a ministerial directive was issued spelling out the requirements to be met by early childhood development programmes and partial care facilities during Covid-19 lockdown level three. It applies only to:
    • programmes and facilities already operational when the State of Disaster was declared, including:
      • mobile programmes
      • play groups
      • child minder/day mother services
      • parental support programmes
      • after-school services, and
      • toy libraries.
  • Only children who were already attending a programme or facility ‘immediately prior to’ its closure under lockdown may return.
  • Programmes and facilities operational when the State of Disaster was declared and intending to reopen should be:
    • registered or conditionally registered as required by the 2005 Children’s Act, or
    • have applied to register, or
    • be in receipt of a registration enforcement notice (proof of which should be provided to the provincial Department of Social Development), or
    • be required to register and, not having done so or applied to do so, undertake in writing to be registered within six months of reopening.
  • These requirements do not apply to:
    • Grade R and pre-Grade R programmes and classes provided by government or independent schools, or
    • the aftercare facilities provided by those schools for children attending their Grade R and pre-Grade R classes, or to
    • education support centres falling under the 1996 South African Schools Act.
  • Early childhood development programmes and partial care facilities intending to reopen are required to:
    • comply with prescribed minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and departmental operating procedures
    • complete the declaration form provided
    • display it publicly
    • develop a workplace plan for curbing the spread of Covid-19
    • complete the self-assessment form provided, and
    • in the case of unregistered programmes, prove that they have participated in the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s ‘Vangasali’ registration campaign.
  • A formula is prescribed for calculating the maximum number of children to be readmitted, based on the inside and outside ‘unobstructed early learning space’ to be available for each child.
  • Conditions to be met when returning a child to a programme or facility to which the new directive applies include:
    • several affecting who should accompany the child
    • daily screening
    • underlying health conditions, and
    • access to information on the Covid-19 infection prevention measures in place.
  • The directive also deals with:
    • the hygiene, disinfecting and cleaning measures to be taken and protocols observed
    • procedures to be followed when a member of staff, child or person accompanying a child displays Covid-19 symptoms
    • personal protective equipment requirements
    • permits and certificates for the movement of children and staff between metropolitan areas, districts and provinces, and
    • record keeping for the duration of the State of Disaster.
  • The return of a child to an early childhood development programme or partial care facility is voluntary.
  • Outings, excursions, extramural activities, open days and activities involving people who are not staff members are prohibited.

Technical and vocational education and training colleges


  • On 8 July, Higher Education, Science & Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande announced arrangements for National Student Financial Aid Scheme students at these colleges to be provided with ‘digital devices’ to ‘support’ their ongoing studies during the lockdown ‘and when they return to campus’.
  • The devices will be procured and allocated by individual colleges.
  • Only broad-based black economic empowerment ‘level one and two contributors’ (sub-contracting ‘at least 30%’ of the contract’s value to a 51% or more black-owned enterprise) will be ‘eligible to bid for the tender’.
  • All laptop bags should be ‘100% locally manufactured/produced’.




  • The 11 June ministerial directive on non-contact sports during the Covid-19 State of Disaster was amended on 6 July:
    • giving contact sports bodies until 20 July to submit ‘detailed’ operational plans for resuming training ‘without any spectators’, and
    • making any sports body and its affiliate members ‘jointly and severally responsible for any claim for damages or negligence’ arising from failure to take reasonable measures in curbing the spread of the virus.


Arts and cultural institutions


  • The same directive confirmed that libraries, archives, museums, galleries, cinemas and theatres are allowed to reopen:
    • giving them until 20 July to submit plans for curbing the spread of the virus
    • limiting library services to returning and borrowing library materials, although
      • study and computer facilities may be used but are restricted to 30% and 10% of a library’s entire area (children’s library facilities are to remain closed).
    • Opening hours and gathering prevention measures in the lockdown level three regulations apply.


Department of Home Affairs


  • On 3 July, a ministerial directive amended the 9 May directive (amended a month later) to:
    • allow anyone falling outside the categories of people permitted to enter SA during the State of Disaster to apply to do so, but only in ‘exceptional circumstances’, and
    • add processing applications for learners’ ‘identity cards or documents’ to the list of available services.






  • The Independent Communications Authority of SA has been issued with a ministerial directive providing ‘policy direction’ on the introduction of digital sound broadcasting services.




  • The South African Legal Practice Council has called for comments on proposed amendments to its rules:
    • prohibiting prospective employers from requiring candidate legal practitioners to have access to a vehicle or possess a valid driver’s licence, and
    • increasing from five to seven the number of years a firm should retain accounting records following the termination of a mandate.




  • According to a ministerial determination gazetted on 7 July, 2000 MW of new generation capacity will be connected to the grid ‘by December 2021’ – sourced from independent power producers using ‘a range of … technologies’.




  • During August, stakeholders will have the opportunity to make oral representations on the possible declaration of the following services as essential:
    • school nutrition/feeding
    • laundry in privately owned old age homes
    • aircraft maintenance
    • private security
    • private healthcare, and
    • unspecified ports and marine services.
  • The re-designation of key point computer systems is also being considered.


Prepared by Pam Saxby

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