Submitted by Christina Pretorius, Director, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc
Further regulations regarding the implementation of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown were released on the evening of 25 March, just over a day before the lockdown takes effect at 24:59 on 26 March. The lockdown applies to everyone within the borders of South Africa, and seeks to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The new regulations require every person to confine themselves to their place of residence unless strictly for the purpose of:
- performing an essential service,
- obtaining essential goods or services,
- collecting a social grant, or seeking emergency, life-saving, or chronic medical attention.
A long list of essential goods and services is included as Annexure B to the regulations, and includes the production, transport and sale of food, cleaning products, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, airtime & electricity, and other essential items, as well as financial services like banking and insurance.
The head of an institution must determine what essential services must be performed by that institution in order to remain operational (even if on a remote basis), and the essential staff who will perform these services.
The identified staff will be permitted to carry out the identified functions, although they must, at all times, carry a permit issued by the head of the institution. The general form that this permit must take is Annexure C to the regulations. It is essentially a document that sets out the full names and contact details of the head of the institution issuing the permit, as well as the full names and identity number of the person to whom the permit is issued and it must be produced with identification on request.
Businesses must ensure that any of their personnel carrying out essential services are issued with a permit in terms of the regulation, before the lockdown begins.