by Roi Simpson
25 March 2020
The lockdown regulations are effective from 23h59 on Thursday 26 March 2020 until 00h01 on 17 April 2020.
That end date may change. Until they end, they’re a pretty comprehensive ban on any movement outside your property.
STAY AT HOME
The only valid reasons for being outside are to go purchase food or medicine, collect a social grant, seek medical attention – or to perform an officially designated essential service.
Even medical attention needs to be for an emergency, a life-saving intervention, or chronic medical assistance.
There is provision to draw money at an ATM, and put petrol in your car. Those services will remain available. But it will be necessary to demonstrate that you’re doing those in line with one of the reasons stated.
During a briefing by the Security Cluster Ministries on Wednesday, it was specifically stated that exercise, and taking pets for a walk are not permitted.
Homeless people, and anyone else unable to self-isolate will be evacuated to a temporary shelter.
The country’s borders will be sealed, and there’ll be no movement between provinces; except for vehicles carrying essential goods.
THERE WON’T BE MUCH TO DO
Virtually all business premises must be closed.
That includes restaurants, fast-food outlets, and clothing stores. The only exceptions will be food stores, the businesses that supply them and transport those goods, and officially designated essential service providers.
Even supermarkets offering a variety of goods will only be allowed to sell food, cleaning and hygiene products, medical supplies, and airtime and electricity tokens.
Animal food stores and veterinary services will be allowed to continue operations as well.
The sale of alcohol and tobacco products is specifically prohibited.
Places of worship will only be allowed to be open for funerals, and the total number of people present can’t exceed 50.
VEHICLE MOVEMENT WILL BE TIGHTLY CONTROLLED
All passenger rail services will be shut down, and only cargo planes will be allowed to fly.
Buses, minibus taxis, metered taxis, and e-hailing vehicles will only be allowed to transport people carrying out essential services, or obtaining essential goods or medical attention.
Even then, they may only do so between 05h00-09h00 and 16h00-20h00.
None of them may carry more than half the number of people they are normally licenced to carry.
Vehicle checkpoints and roadblocks will be in place to ensure compliance.
YOU’LL NEED TO PROVE YOU’RE AN ESSENTIAL SERVICES WORKER
Businesses are required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) Bizportal website at www.bizportal.gov.za and obtain a certificate from the Commission that allows them to continue trading.
Everyone needing to travel to perform an essential service will be required to carry proof of that.
This proof consists of:
• A valid form of identity. In practice, this will have to include your name, ID number, and a photo. It is probable that only ID issued by a government department will be deemed to be valid.
• A permit to perform an essential service. This may be downloaded, printed, and completed by your employer.
Home Affairs offices will maintain a skeleton staff to provide temporary ID documents, birth certificates, and death certificates.
NON-COMPLIANCE CAN LAND YOU IN JAIL
Anyone who contravenes any of these provisions can be sentenced to 6 months in jail, be fined a commensurate amount, or both.
No special provision has yet been announced for reporting businesses or individuals breaking these regulations, so complaints will be handled by the police.
BASIC SERVICES WILL KEEP RUNNING
Municipal services like cleaning, sanitation, sewerage, waste and refuse removal will continue.
Police will continue with crime prevention duties, and Police Minister Bheki Cele claims their capacity to deal with violence against women and children is being boosted over this time.
A dedicated phone number 0800 150 150 is available to report incidents of gender based violence, or violence against children for priority attention.
Fire, ambulance, and medical couriers will also keep providing their services.
WE’LL BE WITH YOU
Broadcast media is designated as an essential service.
Heart FM will keep you entertained and informed throughout the lockdown.