AC19 - Apr 2020

Author: property 24
3 April 2020

‘Suspend evictions’ / Revised regulations set, ahead of second lockdown weekend

South Africa has marked day 7 of its 21-day national lockdown, with a total of 1 462 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some five recorded deaths. Two deaths have yet to be confirmed.

As government aims to stem the infection rate across the country, certain revised regulations have been put in place – announced during a briefing held in Tshwane on Thursday by the Ministers representing the Coronavirus National Command Council provided.

READ: 10 lockdown FAQs answered

‘Ongoing evictions in the eThekwini’

During the briefing an appeal was made to municipalities and private property owners to suspend evictions during the current lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SA Government News Agency reports this follows an update to Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, leaders of community organisations and non-governmental organisations, wherein “ongoing evictions in the eThekwini Metro” were noted.

Government says it will continue to review regulations as per issues that arise during the lockdown period.

READ: Credit bureaus outline State of Disaster Rental Recovery Plan to follow

Other amended regulations include the limitations on public transport, movement of people between provinces, movement of goods and repatriation of people across countries. Taxi operating hours and supermarkets have been required to adjust opening hours with most now opening at 7am – with all advised to observe social distancing.

Provincial travel for funerals

Newly gazetted regulations now allows provincial travel for funerals, but only for those closest to the deceased. Funerals are still limited to no more than 50 people. These relatives now need to obtain a permit in order to travel “between provinces, metropolitan and district areas for the purposes of transporting a body for burial purposes”.

“People allowed to travel for a deceased person’s funeral include a spouse or partner of the deceased; children of the deceased; children-in-law of the deceased; parents of the deceased; siblings; grandparents of the deceased and persons closely affiliated to the deceased”.

SEE: A list of key Covid-19 payment holidays and debt relief funds – here’s how to apply

Public transport

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has also decreased taxi loading capacity to 70% of the vehicle’s loading capacity.

Previously an agreement was made for taxis to load 100% capacity – provided they provide passengers with masks but this decision has been overturned to ensure the required space for social distancing is put into effect.

Emergency repatriation

Home Affairs, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi relaxed some regulations to allow for the movement of fuel cargo and goods in addition to essential goods.

People are now allowed to enter or leave the Republic of South Africa for emergency medical attention.

“Under these changes, repatriation between countries will be allowed.” However, citizens will be screened for COVID-19 before repatriation can take place. Those who test positive will not be allowed to travel. Normal movements remain limited.

Government has also given fuel and food cargo the green light to cross borders. Previously, only essential goods were allowed before the amendment.

READ: What lockdown means for tenants and landlords

Delivery of essential services and good 

Cargo ships and airfreight companies will be able to dock and land on South African shores to deliver essential services, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has confirmed

These goods will all be subject to sanitising and disinfection. Provisions have also been made for cargo planes entering South Africa.

Crew will all be required to be on lockdown in their rooms until they return to their planes and fly back.

International call centres allowed to operate

Internationally operated call centres are now permitted to operate, as long as they observe social distancing rules. These centres relate specifically to “essential services in respect of healthcare, social services, government services and financial services”.

The above information is as reported and up to date as at:  3 April 2020
It is important to check on aspects of the initial lockdown announcements, as Ministers are updating these, daily!!