01 June 2020

COVID-19 State of Disaster and Lockdown Regulations: Update 1 June 2020

Lockdown level three

  • Disaster management regulations for Covid-19 lockdown level three were gazetted on 28 May, among other things:
    • allowing ‘a competent court to grant an eviction order provided it is just and equitable’
    • prohibiting ‘male and female initiation practices’
    • requiring organisations with more than 500 employees to ‘finalise appropriate sector or workplace arrangements or compacts’ on, among other things:
      • staggered shifts
      • staff transport
      • daily Covid-19 symptom screening, and
      • ‘high health risks’
    • prohibiting the reopening not only of hairdressing salons, but also:
      • piercing and tattoo parlours, and
      • makeup, nail and beauty treatment salons
    • allowing people to enter and leave South Africa for reasons other than emergency medical attention, including to:
      • attend school (where this entails commuting daily from a neighbouring country)
      • participate in cross-border ‘humanitarian operations, repatriations, evacuations (and) medical emergencies’, and
      • if they are diplomatic staff or the employees of international organisations.
  • The list of places and premises closed to members of the public now includes:
    • gyms and fitness centres, and
    • ‘private homes for paid leisure accommodation’.
  • ‘Older persons’ residential facilities’ have been added to the list of places members of the public are prohibited from visiting.
  • While the on-site consumption of food and beverages at restaurants is still prohibited, according to Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, discussions on a more relaxed approach are ongoing.
  • The Minister’s announcement that ‘hunting and gaming’ will be allowed appears to be at odds with the 28 May regulations, which state that:
    •  ‘public and private game farms’ are to remain closed ‘except to the extent that … (they) are required for the remaining tourists confined to … (them)’, although
    • private self-drive excursions to ‘tourist attractions’ are permitted.
  • The sale of liquor between 09:00 and 17:00 from Monday to Thursday for off-site consumption has been widely reported, as have more relaxed measures on daily exercising routines and an ongoing ban on the sale of tobacco products.
  • A ministerial directive issued on 28 May allows religious gatherings of up to 50 people, provided that, among other things:
    • strict hygiene, health and safety protocols are observed
    • there is no personal contact,
    • and no ‘substance or liquid’ is shared.
  • Employment & Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has confirmed that the 29 April ministerial directive on occupational health and safety measures will be amended to reflect an agreement still being negotiated in the National Economic Development and Labour Council on:
    • employer obligations towards staff members with co-morbidities or older than 60
    • quarantining employees who have been in close contact with Covid-19-positive colleagues
    • free face masks, and
    • the right to ‘refuse to work’ when there is reason to believe that measures to prevent transmission have not been taken.

Temporary employer/employee relief scheme (Ters)

  • The 26 March ministerial directive on temporary unemployment relief during the Covid-19 State of Disaster was amended on 26 May for the fourth time to provide that all workers who lost income or were required to take annual leave during the lockdown are entitled to relief. This is regardless of whether they have made UIF contributions, and noting amendments gazetted on:
    • 15 May
    • 4 May, and
    • 8 April, and that
    • a draft amendment signed on 16 April was never published.
  • Regarding potential hotspots, according to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a higher level of restrictions may become necessary.


This report excludes any reference to input from teacher unions and national governing body associations on the readiness of schools to resume teaching and learning on 1 June. Neither does it include Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s most recent announcements on this and related matters.

  • A 29 May ministerial directive on the phased re-opening of schools and related government offices confirmed that:
    • only those meeting minimum health, safety and social distancing requirements will be allowed to resume operations, and
    • school of skills year four learners were expected to return to class on 1 June, with grades seven and 12.
  • The directive provides a timetable for the staggered return to school of all remaining learners from 1 July, including those attending early childhood and special needs education facilities.
    • It also clarifies last week’s assurance from President Cyril Ramaphosa that ‘no parent will be forced to send their child to school if they are worried about safety’. A parent choosing not to send a learner to school must apply for:
      •  an entire, partial or conditional exemption from compulsory school attendance if this would be in the learner’s best interests, and for
      • permission to proceed with home education.
  • Schools with large enough facilities to comply with health, safety, and social distancing requirements without operating at 50% capacity or less may do so.
  • These schools will not be required to ‘change their standard timetable models’.
  • All other schools will be expected to apply ‘timetable models suitable for their context and functionality’, which may be:
    • weekly or bi-weekly rotation, or
    • ‘platooning’ (the use of one school building by two separate sets of teachers and pupils, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon).
  • The new directive also:
    • postpones mid-year examinations to November/December
    • makes daily Covid-19 symptom screening mandatory
    • provides for ‘curriculum trimming and reorganisation’
    • prescribes the cleaning, sanitising and hygiene procedures to be followed at every reopened school, and allows
    • educators, departmental officials and certain learners to move between metropolitan areas, districts and provinces (subject to being issued with the necessary permit/certificate).
  • Facilities for regular handwashing with soap and ‘clean water’ are a prerequisite to resuming operations.



  • The 30 May ministerial directive on rail commuter services:
    • makes no reference to 1 July as the target date for reopening lines referred to in Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s media statement, but
    • simply requires the Passenger Road Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to ‘continue with the maintenance, servicing and testing of its fleet and (to) further sanitise and disinfect its stations and hubs’.
  • The Gautrain’s airport service was scheduled to reopen on 1 June.
  • According to the Minister, his 31 March directive on air services has been amended to:
    • allow ‘limited domestic air travel for business purposes’ between four airports, subject to:
      • restrictions on the number of flights per day, and
      • ‘authorisation based on the reason for travel’
    • prescribe drop-off and pick-up points
    • determine who may enter a terminal building and the travel authorisations required, and to
    • make pre-flight Covid-19 symptom screening mandatory.
  • The 30 May ministerial directive on road-based public passenger transport confirms that inter-provincial travel is permitted under specific circumstances set out in the 28 May disaster management regulations.
  • The Minister’s statement confirms that ‘time restrictions’ applicable to all modes of public passenger transport by road have been ‘lifted’.
  • ‘Capacity restrictions’ imposed under lockdown levels five and four remain in place.

Community and small commercial media projects

  • The Media Development and Diversity Agency has made another R10m available for disbursement by way of ‘relief packages’ for qualifying community and small commercial media projects.
  • R10m has already been distributed in packages of R45000 to each of the 231 ‘eligible’ applicants identified during March and April, in recognition of:
    • the ‘critical and essential service played by the … sector in information, news and content dissemination’ during the State of Disaster, and
    • the ‘severe pressures’ faced under lockdown.


  • A ministerial directive gazetted on 26 May:
    • clarified one issue on 14 May by listing:
      • ‘activities with associated restrictions’ that ‘may’ be imposed under lockdown, and
      • where essential services in terms of the 29 April disaster management regulations require a permit.


  • A ministerial directive gazetted on 25 May prescribes the procedures to be followed when handling the mortal remains of people who succumb to the Covid-19 virus.



  • A radio frequency plan key to SA’s migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television was gazetted on 22 May.
  • According to an Icasa media statement on the plan, it:
    • allows for a ‘phased approach’ to the analogue television switch off process
    • will ‘further expedite and fast track the implementation of digital terrestrial television’, and
    • will enable the ‘concurrent release’ of two ‘digital dividends’ to ‘support the uptake of mobile broadband communications’.


Prepared by Pam Saxby


View all COVID-19 State of Disaster & Lockdown Regulations Summaries here

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