ARTICLES COVID-19 [2020]

Author: Staff Writer
21 April 2020

New regulations as South Africa waits for updated lockdown plan

Government has published a number of new and revised regulations as the country waits to hear its plan around lifting the five-week-long countrywide lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa met with his cabinet on Monday (20 April) to finalise a set of measures to respond to the impact of the lockdown as well as plans for the country once the lockdown is lifted.

While cabinet is expected to make a statement on its new plan on Tuesday, a number of government departments have continued to introduce new lockdown regulations  –  with some proving to be more controversial than others.

Below are some of the new regulations announced over the last week.

Ban on ‘hot foods’ 

Arguably the most controversial new change was published on Monday and prohibited a ban on the sale of all ‘hot foods’ by essential retailers.

The directive was effectively only a line long and included no other changes, giving the impression that the government has gone out of its way to introduce this specific ban.

There is still no official explanation as to why the government has banned the sale of such food. Business group Sakeliga has indicated that it will challenge the new amendment, slamming the ‘arbitrary’ introduction of regulations by the government.

“If something is not done immediately, even entirely legal, essential businesses may be unsure of their status,” it said.

“We would like to see a more nuanced, consistent and thoughtful approach from government.

“It is important to note that South Africa’s restrictions on these businesses are far more extreme than what is warranted by the vast majority of international expertise – including recommendations by bodies such as the World Health Organisation.”

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