Article by Lindiwe Karosa
South Africa has officially entered its second instalment of the nationwide lockdown after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an additional 14 days to the initial three weeks. As necessary as the extension was deemed to be, the economic implications could not be ignored. Ministers of South Africa addressed the country yesterday to announce changes to regulations that would advance the country into softer lockdown conditions.
Coal mines that supply Eskom continue to work at full capacity however, other mining operations will be allowed to work at a 50% capacity during the lockdown. The Department of Mineral Resources further announced conditions that these mines may operate, including rigorous screening & testing programs for all mining employees, quarantine facilities for employees that test positive for Covid-19 and transport to and from workers’ homes.
More Essential Services
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that those who might require emergency repairs to their homes may now call-out an appropriate artisan. She specifically mentioned plumbers, locksmiths, glaziers, electricians and those who perform roof repairs.
Over and above this, essential workers can now take their cars to get fixed which then means that mechanics too can return to work. Does this imply that stores that provide the above service providers with tools and supplies can also open?
More Essential Supplies
The short answer is yes. Suppliers for essential service providers may now operate. This includes hardware and car parts stores. The government has implemented stringent measures that these stores are expected to abide by. All stores must maintain a record of its customers’ details, purchased products and a declaration by the customer that the purchase is for essential work. Those who attempt to purchase non-essential items may face prosecution.
Funeral attendees must now present a death certificate, or soft/hard copy of it, to obtain a permit to attend a funeral. In the event that the funeral is to occur within the next 24 hours and a death certificate is unavailable, the applicant must make a sworn affidavit supplemented by a letter from the religious or cultural leader.
More call centres may open, including those of retailers who offer store cards as these are covered by insurance policies. Citizens will now be able to activate their policies if they find themselves in any financial distress and need to communicate with their creditors.
What hasn’t changed?
- ● The ban on cigarette sales has not been lifted and South Africa awaits President Cyril Ramaphosa’s response to the proposal made by stakeholders in the liquor industry.
- ● We’re still subjected to home-cooked meals for the next 14 days as supermarkets are still prohibited from selling hot food, including pies and roasted chicken.
- ● Even with criminals taking advantage of lockdown conditions, neighbourhood watch groups also remain prohibited from patrolling.