14 September 2020

COVID-19 State of Disaster & Other Developments: Update (14 September 2020)


Temporary employer/employee relief scheme (Ters)


  • A ministerial directive gazetted on 7 September confirmed that qualifying criteria announced in August will apply until the State of Disaster ends. These are that:
    • for an employee to qualify for temporary relief, their employer should:
      • not be ‘permitted to commence operations’, or
      • be unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers, or
      • be unable to introduce rostering, staggered working hours, ‘short time’ or ‘shift systems’.


Electronic communications


  • On 11 September, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) amended the zero-rating requirements in Covid-19 State of Disaster regulations gazetted on 26 March (amended in May):
    • aligning them with a ministerial directive issued on 26 March (amended in May), which applies to:
      • local educational content websites, and
      • Covid-19 health websites, and
    • limiting zero rating to sites approved by:
      • the Department of Basic Education, or
      • the Department of Higher Education and Training or
      • the Department of Health.


Community broadcasting


  • In the same set of amendments, Icasa:
    • suspended its requirements for holding annual general and other meetings, and
    • allowed broadcasters three months from the end of the State of Disaster to comply.


Early childhood development


  • On 11 September, a ministerial directive was published clarifying the measures to be taken by reopening early childhood development programmes and partial care facilities.
  • The directive does not apply to:
    • Grade R and pre-Grade R classes at state-run and independent schools, or to
    • the after-care facilities provided by these schools for learners attending their Grade R and pre-Grade R classes.


Movement of children between parents and care-givers


  • All remaining restrictions are lifted in paragraph 12 of the same directive.


Old age homes and frail care facilities


  • Paragraph 11 of the directive lifts restrictions on visits to old age homes and frail care facilities, subject to certain conditions.


Community nutrition centres


  • The directive’s paragraph 13 permits these centres to reopen, setting out the measures to be taken.


International flights


  • A ministerial directive gazetted on 9 September has clarified that these are only permitted for:
    • ‘the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods’
    • ‘humanitarian operations’
    • ‘the evacuation of a South African national or permanent resident’ and their return to SA
    • ‘the repatriation of a foreign national to their country of nationality or permanent residence’
    • ‘medical emergencies in respect of a life-threatening condition’
    • ‘the movement of staff’ in diplomatic offices and international organisations, and
    • ‘the return of a South African national or permanent resident to their place of employment, study or residence’ outside SA.
  • ‘International passenger air travel for leisure purposes’ does not qualify for a special authorisation.
  • All remaining restrictions have been lifted on:
    • general aviation
    • recreational aviation, and
    • ‘aerial work’.


Court rooms, court houses and justice service points


  • Measures to be taken under lockdown level two are set out in a ministerial directive gazetted on 11 September, which:
    • will also apply to lockdown level one
    • includes steps to be taken:
      • to reduce case backlogs
      • when postponing criminal cases
      • when fixing bail, and
      • when ordering the continuing detention of children
    • reopens public galleries in court rooms on the understanding that ‘not more than 50% of available floor space’ is used, and
    • restricts to 50% the floor space to be used in:
      • court houses, and
      • justice service points.


Environmental management


  • On 9 September, a ministerial directive was gazetted allowing parties affected by suspended or recently resumed authorisation processes and procedures 30 days to take ‘the appropriate actions and steps’.



Financial sector


  • The Competition Commission has released a paper on its approach to regulating the digital economy, which among other things calls for a ‘re-think’ on ‘promoting inclusion’ in the financial services sector.




  • The Department of Mineral Resources an Energy issued a media statement on 10 September confirming that:
    • a ministerial determination on new energy generation capacity has been endorsed by the National Energy Regulator of SA
    • yet to be gazetted, it will enable the procurement of an additional 11 813 MW to be generated using:
      • photovoltaic and wind technologies (6 800 MW)
      • gas (3 000 MW)
      • coal (1 500 MW), and
      • ‘storage’ (513 MW).


Taxi industry


  • In anticipation of the upcoming lekgotla, four documents were published on 11 September, focusing on:
    • unity and leadership
    • empowerment
    • regulation, and
    • professionalisation and customer care.
  • Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has called for ‘honest and robust’ conversations about:
    • the key drivers of ‘disunity and violence’
    • taxi ownership by ‘government officials, traffic officers and police officers’
    • gender based violence, and
    • the ‘real beneficiaries’ of government’s taxi recapitalisation programme.


Public service ethics course


  • Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has directed the heads of government departments to ensure that employees enrol.
  • Launched in April, the course is compulsory and free.


Prepared by Pam Saxby

About this blog

People's Assembly

"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.

We host the latest posts of this blog, written by People's Assembly. You can find more on PA's blog.

Share this page: