Covid19 | 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Level3 Lockdown in South Africa
We’ll be telling you about the rules involved in the level3 lockdown in South Africa. South Africa has introduced level3 lockdown which started on the 1st of June with the government introducing new regulations upon its citizens. Most of these regulations relate to the relaxation of the current lockdown rules, with more than eight million people now expected to return to work. The South African government has also indicated that it will curtail its regulation on individual sectors and has placed an emphasis on individual responsibility. Let’s now tell you things you didn’t know about the level3 lockdown in South Africa.
South Africa’s Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has further outlined the regulatory changes for the country’s lockdown level 3 which took effect last week (June 1st). At a media briefing on the 28th of May, 2020, Cogta minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that all of the country’s economic sectors will be opened, albeit with restrictions. She said that the essence of the strategy involved in the level3 lockdown in South Africa is based on sound scientific advice as well as international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). She also stated that the economic challenges been faced in the country of recent mainly contributed to the ease of the lockdown.
All You Need to Know About the Level3 Lockdown in South Africa
Read further below and see the lay-down rules involved in the level3 lockdown in South Africa with respect to different activities in the country.
The South African government indicated that people may start returning to work from 1st June, with strict health and safety guidelines. This includes the full reopening of the retail sector as well as the sale of alcohol. However, the country’s level 3 regulations outlined a number of exclusions, including; the consumption of food and beverages at or in a place of sale, including restaurants retail outlets, convenience stores or informal traders, On-site consumption of liquor, Short term home-sharing /letting/leasing/rental for leisure purposes, Domestic passenger air travel for leisure purposes, Passenger ships for leisure purposes, Conferences and events, Personal care services, including hairdressing. Beauty treatments, make -up, and nails salons and piercing and tattoo parlours, Tourist attractions, Casinos and entertainment activities.
As part of the level 3 regulatory changes introduced by the country’s Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), South Africans will now be allowed to purchase alcohol.
The regulations state that the sale of liquor will be permitted between Monday- and Thursday and between 09h00 – 17h00. Online sales will be subject to the same times, while no liquor may be consumed onsite.
The sale of tobacco products remains prohibited – although this issue is set to be challenged in court in the coming week.
South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Correctional Services “Ronald Lamola” says that South Africans will still have restricted exercise times under the country’s level 3 lockdown. The updated exercise times will now be between 06h00 – 18h00.
He added that South Africans will be required to wear masks at all times and may not exercise in groups. The 5km radius has seemingly been lifted.
Lamola has previously explained that the restriction on exercise and the evening curfew was introduced to help the South African Police Services (SAPS).
This combined with the return to work of more than eight million people means far more movement that the police will need to monitor.
The country has removed the country’s evening curfew (20h00 – 05h00) under the latest regulations and will allow inter-provincial travel for workers.
These workers require a permit from their place of employment to show their purpose for travelling.
Other travel changes announced by government include:
- Publish of a new directive which extends the validity of expired licences and registrations for 90 days from 1st June, by the Department of Transport.
- Allowing some rail services to operate during the level 3 lockdown – including the Gautrain, as indicated by the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula.
- Allowing for domestic air travel for business purposes also published by Fikile Mbalula.
South Africa’s Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says her department is putting together a proposal to submit to the National Coronavirus Command Council to allow restaurants to open up more services under lockdown level 3.
In a media briefing on Saturday, she also outlined the following areas that have been opened up under Level 3:
- Restaurants for delivery or collection of food. Restaurants with liquor licences are allowed to sell alcohol only for takeout and delivery.
- Professional services – e.g. tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents, tourism information officers are allowed to come back to operations.
- Professional Services, including training of nature guides and other related services that are able to ensure safe distance.
- Public and private game farms have been opened for self-drive excursions.
- Hiking to be done in compliance with existing guidelines and not in groups.
- Accommodation activities are allowed, except for leisure.
- Establishments will no longer require a letter from the Minister of Tourism to operate. They are required to ensure that they accommodate those in the permitted services and keep records for inspections by the department.
- Hunting and gaming activities are also allowed.
Kubayi-Ngubane said that following economic activities remain prohibited:
- Conferences, events, and entertainment activities (except venues that are being used in the fight against the pandemic, eg. distribution points of social relief measures).
- Casinos and Leisure travel.
South Africa’s Department of Basic Education has delayed the reopening of the country’s schools by a week to better prepare for the return of students.
According to the department, schools will open for all grade 7 and 12 pupils on Monday, 8 June 2020, the Department of Basic Education said in a statement on Sunday evening.
The announcement comes after the education department published the updated academic calendar for schools in South Africa on Friday (29 May).
In the directive, the department said that the return of students in other grades will be staggered, with some students returning from 6 July, while the last of the country’s learners are expected to return from 3 August.
One of the most controversial new changes is the partial reopening of places of worship.
Under level 4, all religious gatherings, except for funerals, were banned to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There were then calls for South Africa’s President (Cyril Ramaphosa) to allow churches and other religious institutions to open under alert level 3 of the lockdown.
The president said there was subsequently a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council which considered the inputs in recent consultations with interfaith leaders. Following this meeting, Ramaphosa announced that current restrictions on religious gatherings will be eased.
He said places of worship – including churches, synagogues, temples and mosques – will be allowed to open under alert level 3.
Regulations published by the country’s Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs further outline the restrictions – including a hard limit of 50 people inside places of worship.
What has been the Effect of Covid-19 in South Africa’s Economy?
The COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa is part of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize confirmed that the virus spread to South Africa, with the first known patient being a male citizen who tested positive upon his return from Italy.
At the beginning of the national shut down on 27 March, South African economists predicted that the pandemic could cause a 2.5% to 10% contraction of South Africa’s total GDP in 2020. The national lockdown and resulting economic slowdown reduced demand for electricity by more than 7500 MW thereby temporarily reducing the impact of the long-running South African energy crisis. It is estimated that the government would experience a revenue shortfall for 2020 of between R70 billion and R100 billion. This resulted in the South African government announcing an R500 billion (US$26.9 billion) stimulus package thereby accelerating deficit spending from 6.8% to over 10% of GDP for the 2020 financial year.
By 23 April, when President Ramaphosa addressed the nation the total number of cases had increased to 3953. Detailed figures released by the NICD showed that in April that the number of cases had taken distinct trajectories in different provinces. In the two weeks from 9 to 23 April, the cases in the coastal provinces had a very high increase — Eastern Cape cases rose 583% from a low base, KwaZulu-Natal rose 108% and Western Cape 148%. North West (67%) and Gauteng (57%) had high increases, while the other provinces had much lower increases from 6% in the Northern Cape to 23% in Limpopo (all with low absolute numbers — 106 in the Free State and under 30 in each of the other provinces).
Trade and agricultural shows postponed or cancelled included HuntEx, DecorEx Cape Town & Durban, Tyrexpo (postponed to 4–6 August 2020), Power & Electricity World expo (postponed until 20–21 August), the Pietermaritzburg Royal Show, SA Cheese Festival, Qualité Awards Dinner, and Agri-Expo Western Cape Youth Show.
Major sporting codes suspended their activities, including Super Rugby, 2019-20 Pro14 season, Varsity Rugby, Premier Soccer League, Athletics South Africa, Sunshine Tour golf, Wimpy Lifesaving South Africa national championships and Parkrun. The Cape Epic cycle tour, the 2020 Two Oceans Marathon and the 2020 Comrades Marathon were cancelled.
Live events cancelled or postponed included the Mangaung African Cultural Festival (MACUFE), Bloem Show, AfrikaBurn, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, Splashy Fen Festival, Rand Show, National Arts Festival (changing to virtual), SciFest Africa (postponed to 9–15 September), WWE Live South Africa (postponed until September) and Comic-Con Cape Town. South African tours were postponed by the Lighthouse Family, Boyz II Men and BeBe Winans.
Also read: AFRICAN COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS