21 September 2020

COVID-19 State of Disaster & Other Developments: Update (21 September 2020)


Disaster management regulations


  • Gazetted on 18 September, the new regulations:
    • came into force at 00:01 on 21 September.
  • They limit the number of people allowed to gather:
    • at large indoor venues (to 250)
    • at open-air venues (to 500)
    • at funerals (to 100, with night vigils prohibited).
  • The venue limitations apply to:
    • gatherings at ‘faith-based institutions’
    • ‘political events’
    • traditional council meetings
    • gatherings at places of employment
    • conference and other meeting venues, and
    • concerts and live performances.
  • Unless stated otherwise, all other venues are restricted to using no more than 50% of their capacity, including cinemas and theatres (regarding which an amendment was gazetted on 20 September).
  • Ministerial directives will be issued on the number of people permitted to gather at:
    • casinos
    • sports grounds and fields
    • beaches and public parks
    • museums, galleries, libraries and archives
    • gyms, fitness centres and swimming pools
    • hotels, lodges, bed-and-breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts, guest houses, restaurants, bars, taverns, shebeens and ‘similar establishments’, and
    • auctions.
  • Regarding international travel:
    • it will remain prohibited between South Africa and countries with high Covid-19 infection and transmission rates, except for business purposes as approved by the Minister of Home Affairs
    • the Ministers of Health and Home Affairs will:
      • determine the criteria to be met by anyone entering SA from a high-risk country outside the African continent, and
      • compile a list of all high-risk countries, to be ‘amended from time to time’
    • the 35 land border posts closed when the State of Disaster was announced will not be re-opened, according to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
    • ‘all commercial seaports will be opened’, but existing restrictions on visits from international cruise ships will remain in place
    • only OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town international airports will open for international air travel
    • a ministerial directive will determine the conditions to be met and procedures followed when visa application services resume, and
    • in consultation with the Ministers of Health and Transport, the Minister of Home Affairs will also develop international travel Covid-19 ‘containment protocols’.
  • The new regulations are much the same as those for lockdown level two regarding:
    • evictions
    • the demolition of places of residence
    • rental housing
    • re-opening businesses
    • nightclubs (which will remain closed)
    • initiation practices (which will remain prohibited)
    • public transport, and
    • controlled visits to various facilities.
  • Curfew hours have been reduced (00:01 to 04:00).
  • Liquor may be sold at retail outlets between 09:00 and 17:00 from Monday to Friday (but not during weekends and public holidays).
  • On-site alcohol consumption is permitted at licensed premises, which must observe the curfew.




  • On 15 September, amendments were gazetted to ministerial directives spelling out:
    • the support to be provided to special needs learners continuing their education at home, and
    • the physical distancing requirements to be met at boarding hostels.




  • A ministerial directive gazetted on 15 September announced the reopening of Sishen and Polokwane airports for domestic passenger flights.
  • On the same day, a separate directive confirmed that game drive vehicles are permitted to carry the full number of people for which they are licensed.





  • Stricter greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirements were gazetted on 11 September, when they came into force.
  • South Africa’s 7th national greenhouse gas emissions inventory report has been released in draft form for comment.


Prepared by Pam Saxby


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