On 23 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and announced that our country would move down from Alert Level 5, namely a full national lockdown to Alert Level 4 Lockdown, which means that some activity can be allowed to resume subject to extreme precautions required to limit community transmission and outbreaks, with effect from 01 May 2020.
The President announced that this would entail that some businesses will be allowed to resume operations under specific conditions. Further that every business permitted to operate under Alert Level 4, will be required to do so in a phased manner, will have to adhere to detailed health and safety protocols to protect their employees, and workplace plans will be put in place to enable disease surveillance and prevent the spread of infection.
Government Gazette Number 43258, was issued on 29 April 2020 by the Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, a Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in terms of Regulation 27(2) of the Disaster Management act, 2002 (act no. 57 of 2002). The Directive issued also addresses the amendments made with regards to transport and travelling during the Alert Level 4 Lockdown period. The full Government Gazette can be accessed here.
A. People who are permitted to travel during this time should adhere to the following and have the following documentation on their person at all times:
1. Person must wear a 3 layer cloth face mask / homemade item / another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place (Regulation 5(1) of the Directive);
2. Every employee who works away from the workplace, other than at home, must be provided with an adequate supply of hand sanitizer (including drivers of any and all vehicles);
3. Issued permit which corresponds with Form 2 of Annexure A (Regulation 14 of the Directive);
4. Identification Document of all persons;
5. Attendance of a FUNERAL (Regulation 18(5), (6) and (7) of the Directive):
a. Permit which corresponds with Form 4 of Annexure A obtained from nearest Magistrates’ office or police station;
B. The following amendments have been made:
1. No person will be allowed to use any form of public transport/ enter a place or premises without a cloth face mask / homemade item / another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth (Regulation 5(2) of the Directive);
2. Employers MUST provide employees who come in contact with members of the public with a cloth face mask / homemade item / another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth (Regulation 5(3) of the Directive);
3. Employers MUST adopt measures to promote physical distancing of employees (Regulation 5(5) of the Directive);
4. All courier and delivery services shall provide for minimized personal contact during delivery (Regulation 5(7) of the Directive);
5. ALL transport/movement is prohibited between 20:00 and 05:00 EXCEPT (Regulation 16(3) of the Directive):
a. Person has been granted a permit to perform an essential service or permitted service as listed in Annexure D;
b. Person who is attending a medical or security emergency.
6. Movement between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts are prohibited, EXCEPT (Regulation 16(4) & (5) of the Directive):
a. Persons who have a permit to perform essential/permitted service who have to commute between provinces to and from work;
b. Attendance of a funeral, ONLY IF THAT PERSON IS THE (Regulation 18(1) of the Directive);
i. Spouse or partner of the deceased;
ii. Child (biological, adopted or stepchild) of the deceased;
iii. Child-in-law of the deceased;
iv. Parent (biological, adopted or stepchild) of the deceased;
v. Sibling (biological, adopted or stepbrother/stepsister) of the deceased;
vi. Grandparent of the deceased.
c. Transportation of mortal remains – Only 2 family members OR person with close affiliation (who obtained required permits) to the deceased may be present in the vehicle transporting the mortal remains only if the cause of death if NOT COVID-19 related (Regulation 18(8) of the Directive);
d. Learners who attend school or higher education who have to commute to and from the school or institution (when permitted to operate);
e. Any person who was unable to travel to their place of residence or work, between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts before or during the lockdown, will be permitted to do so on a ONCE-OFF basis and will be required to stay in such a place until the end of Alert Level 4;
7. Borders remain closed except for designated ports of entry and the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods during the period of Alert Level 4 (Regulation 21 of the Directive);
8. Transportation of Cargo via rail, ocean and road is permitted for the movement within the Republic to other countries, for the transport of certain goods as set out under Regulation 22(1), Annexure B and Annexure C of the Directive.
9. Transportation of liquor is prohibited, except where (Regulation 26 of the Directive):
a. alcohol is required for industries producing hand sanitizers, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use and household cleaning products;
b. For export purposes.
10. Transport via public rail, minibus taxi and bus services will resume, namely:
a. Bus services and e-hailing services shall not carry more than 50% of the licenced capacity;
b. Taxi services shall not carry more than 70% of the licenced capacity;
c. Private vehicles shall not carry more than 60% of the licenced capacity.
C. The following penalties will be appropriate upon conviction when the above mentioned is not adhered to (Regulation 14 and Regulation 31of the Directive):
1. A fine;
2. Imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6) months;
3. Both a fine and imprisonment;
4. A person who intentionally exposes another to COVID-19 may be prosecuted for an offence, including assault, attempted murder or murder.
A subsequent Government Gazette Number 43320, was issued on 14 May 2020 by the Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, a Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in terms of Regulation 27(2)(f) of the Disaster Management act, 2002 (act no. 57 of 2002). The Directive issued also addresses the amendments made relating to the movement of persons and goods during the Alert Level 4 Lockdown period. The Government Gazette can be accessed here.
PLEASE NOTE the Directions published by Government Gazette Number 43293, which was issued on 07 May 2020, is hereby repealed. Despite the repeal, the direction ALL permits already granted in accordance with the previous Gazette, will remain in force as if the direction had not been repealed. (Regulation 5 of the Directive)
D. The purpose of the amendments is to facilitate the movement of people and goods between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts, as follows:
1. The movement of persons and goods are permitted under Regulation 2 of the Directive, where there is an essential and unavoidable change in place of residence or business, including the transport of related goods to a new place of residence or business, within the Republic, due to the following:
a. A person is relocating to a new place of residence;
b. Movement is necessitated due to domestic violence; or
c. A business is relocating to new premises;
2. This entails a once-off movement of:
a. Persons who are relocating to their new place of residence, as permitted in Regulation 16(5); AND
b. The transport of goods within the Republic is permitted in terms of Regulation 22(1)(f).
3. The once-off movement of persons and transportation of goods shall be permitted under Regulation 3, only when:
a. A person who needs to travel to his or her new place of residence OR business and has to transport goods, limited to household OR office furniture and effects, only in instances under paragraph D(1) above, is permitted to do so during Alert Level 4.
b. The person who needs to travel must obtain a permit to travel across provinces, metropolitan areas and districts from the head of the court or person designated by the head of the court OR the station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her;
c. The permit must correspond to Form 1 to this Directive;
d. The person who needs to travel must indicate all the persons who form part of the household who will be required to move/travel;
e. The person who needs to travel should have in their possession:
i. the relevant lease agreement indicating the date of expiry of the old lease OR the date of commencement of the new lease, or
ii. the proof of purchase of residence and occupation date; or
iii. the transfer documents attesting to the change of ownership of property; or
iv. a domestic violence order; or
v. proof of change or new occupation of business premises.
Accordingly, the person who is travelling to his/her new place of residence or business and to transport goods which are limited to household or office furniture is permitted to do so during alert level 4.