05 October 2020

COVID-19 State of Disaster & Other Developments: Update (5 October 2020)


Reopening borders and international travel

  • A ministerial directive was gazetted on 30 September:
    • listing the requirements to be met by the residents of other countries wishing to enter South Africa
    • listing the land ports-of-entry at which prospective visitors from other countries will be ‘processed’
    • setting out the procedures to be followed by ‘any person from a country listed as having a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate’ wishing to visit SA for business purposes during the State of Disaster
    • confirming that Department of Home Affairs business and corporate visa application services in South Africa and elsewhere have reopened
    • listing the other visa services now available
    • extending to 31 January 2021 the validity of visas and permits allowing their holders to remain in South Africa without being declared ‘undesirable’, and
    • confirming that identity document and passport application services have resumed.
  • Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi issued a media statement the same day:
    • listing the countries with high Covid-19 infection and transmission rates from which travellers will be refused entry to South Africa for leisure purposes
    • confirming that the list will be updated ‘from time to time’ and published on his department’s website.


  • On 1 October, three ministerial directives were gazetted spelling out the requirements to be met:
    • by cross-border road transport passenger services
    • at commercial seaports, and
    • by foreign-operated in- and out-bound international passenger and ambulance air services.
  • According to the directive on commercial seaports:
    • ‘foreign crew changes’ are permitted at all nine ports
    • although passenger ships carrying travellers for international leisure purposes are permitted to dock at South African ports for specific reasons, no passengers may disembark other than:
      • returning South African citizens, and
      • the holders of South African residence permits, and
    • every port will designate ‘isolation centres’ to ‘facilitate screening, rapid testing and treatment’.
  • The directive on air services sets out:
    • the conditions to be met by any foreign-operated in- or out-bound international passenger or ambulance service flight
    • the measures to be taken in respect of passengers and crew before embarking and once onboard
    • the services that may be provided onboard, and
    • the procedures to be followed when a passenger or crew member displays Covid-19 symptoms, and
    • lists the airports to be used by international passenger and cargo carriers.


Occupational health and safety

  • A ministerial directive was gazetted on 1 October:
    • replacing one issued in June, and
    • setting out measures to be taken by all places of employment during the remainder of the Covid-19 State of Disaster.
  • It does not apply to:
    • places of employment excluded from the 1993 Occupational Health and Safety Act in terms of section 1(3) (mines and ships), or
    • falling under a direction issued in terms of regulations dealing with employee health and safety.


Sport, arts and culture


  • An amendment to the disaster management regulations for lockdown level one has been gazetted confirming that international events ‘involving countries with … low or medium Covid-19 infection and transmission rates’ are permitted.


Religious gatherings

  • A ministerial directive has been gazetted setting out the requirements to be met. It replaces one issued in May and has been amended to confirm that.


Electronic communications

  • On 2 October, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa issued:
    • An invitation to apply for a licence to provide mobile broadband wireless access services using the high-demand radio frequency spectrum earmarked for auction early next year, and
    • a composite invitation to apply for individual wireless open access network service and radio frequency spectrum licences.


  • On 30 September, draft regulations aimed at prohibiting the production, distribution, import, export, sale and use of persistent organic pollutants were gazetted for public comment.


Scrap metal


  • Revised guidelines on the preferential pricing system for certain categories of high quality scrap metal were gazetted on 2 October.


Administrative adjudication of road traffic offences


  • A revised draft of proposed new regulations was published on 2 October for comment (the more-than-500 page document can be found in National Government Gazette 43758, Notice 1049)
  • The system is scheduled to be rolled out on 1 July 2021, having been piloted in Gauteng.


Prepared by Pam Saxby

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