08 February 2021
From the Government Gazette and Media Statements (8 February 2021)
COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER
- The disaster management regulations for adjusted lockdown level three have been amended to reflect eased restrictions announced on 1 February by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The amendments:
- reduce the curfew by one hour (23:00 to 04:00)
- require any establishments open to the public during the evening to close at 22:00, allowing customers and staff to return home before the curfew begins
- permit faith-based gatherings, subject to:
- strict adherence to health, hygiene and social distancing protocols
- caps of 50 and 100 respectively on the number of attendees at any indoor or outdoor gathering, and
- where a venue is ‘too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing’, the use of 50% of its capacity
- allow public beaches, dams, rivers, parks, swimming pools and related recreational facilities to re-open, subject to strict adherence to health, hygiene and social distancing protocols
- allow the sale of alcohol:
- on Mondays to Thursdays between 10:00 and 18:00 at licensed retail outlets (for off-site consumption)
- during normal licensed operating hours at duty-free shops, registered wineries, wine farms, micro-breweries and micro-distilleries (for off-site consumption), and
- throughout the week from 10:00 to 22:00 at licensed premises for on-site consumption
- make it compulsory to wear a mask in public
- prohibit political events, traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds
- limit to 50 the number of attendees at a funeral
- empower Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to determine the dates on which schools may be opened and closed across the entire sector
- clarify the requirements to be met by international travellers
- permit the transportation of liquor*, and
- continue to prohibit:
- night clubs from operating
- night vigils and after funeral gatherings
- initiation and post-initiation practices (other than those expressly allowed), and
- international cruise ships from docking at South African ports.
- *At the time of writing, the 29 January ministerial directive on public transport during adjusted lockdown level three had not yet been amended to allow the transportation of liquor.
- A ministerial directive on requirements to be met across all justice service points under adjusted lockdown level three was gazetted on 3 February, among other things:
- reducing from 14 to 10 the number of days anyone may be refused entry to a service point in certain virus-related circumstances, and
- confirming that court officials are permitted to travel (which was not the case in terms of the original lockdown level three directive, which has been repealed).
- Regarding the upcoming phased rollout of government’s vaccination programme:
- according to the President:
- ‘nobody will be forced to take this vaccine’
- ‘nobody will be forbidden from travelling …, enrolling at school or from taking part in any public activity if they have not been vaccinated’
- ‘nobody will be given this vaccine against their will’, and
- ‘nor will the vaccine be administered in secret’, and
- National Treasury has published a ‘fact sheet on indemnification issues’ explaining its role in the process of granting concurrence with certain clauses in vaccine procurement contracts.
- according to the President:
- On 30 January, the Department of Tourism issued a media statement on moves being made to challenge the ‘legality and rationality’ of pro-transformation criteria being used in identifying businesses eligible for assistance from the tourism equity fund.
- At the time of writing, no further information was available.
- An independent scientific panel has been appointed to advise on matters arising from the iSimangaliso wetland park authority’s decision last month to open the St Lucia estuary mouth by ‘removing the unnaturally high beach berm’ – allowing the Umfolozi River to ‘fulfil its role as a driver of inlet dynamics’.
- On 2 February, a notice was gazetted calling for comment on draft rules proposed in terms of the 2001 Gas Act.
- The President has urged mine owners to ‘foster an inclusive approach’ to ownership, ‘participation in management’ and procurement, and to ‘strive for greater sustainability, competitiveness and transformation’.
Prepared by Pam Saxby
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"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.