By Lehlohonolo Lehana
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published a new gazette which confirms the extension of South Africa’s level 3 lockdown and changes to some restrictions.
The gazette gives effect to the national address given by president Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening (11 January), in which he announced the extension as a means of combatting a surge of Covid-19 cases currently impacting the country.
Below are some of the key points of the extended lockdown, as outlined by the gazette.
The gazette confirms the extended prohibition on the country’s beaches dams, rivers and public pools in hotspot areas.
It further introduces a new definition for ‘beach’ to give context as to where South Africans are and are not allowed to gather or walk.
In this case, ”beach’ means the sandy, pebbly or rocky shore between the high-water mark and low-water mark adjacent to:
- The sea;
- An estuary mouth extending 1,000 meters inland from the mouth; and
- Within 100 metres of the high-water mark, excluding private property. including the sea and estuary themselves adjacent to the beach.
All land ports of entry into and out of South Africa are closed until 15 February 2021, with the following exceptions:
- The transportation of fuel, cargo and goods;
- Emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition. with proof of such treatment;
- The return of a South African national, permanent resident, person with a long-term residence visa, spouse with a visa, child or children with visa, person with a work visa and holder of a business visa;
- Funeral purposes for family members in the first degree of kinship to the deceased person;
- The deportation of foreign nationals;
- The departure of a South African national, or permanent resident, to his or her place of employment. study or residence;
- Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in South Africa.
International air travel is restricted to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, King Shaka International Airport in KZN and Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town.
Air travel is still permitted, subject to the traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative Covid-19 test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.
In the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative Covid-19 test, they will be required to do an antigen test on arrival at their own cost and in the event of testing positive for Covid-19, they will be required to quarantine at their own cost.
Every person is confined to their place of residence from 21h00 until 05h00 daily, unless a person is performing an essential service or has an emergency.
Any person who fails to abide by the new curfew commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or a period of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both a fine and imprisonment.
Closing time for the following establishments, whether indoors or outdoors, is 20h00:
- Museums, galleries and archives:
- Gyms and fitness centres;
- Venues hosting auctions: and
- Venues hosting professional sport.
An owner or operator of any indoor or outdoor facility where gatherings are held must display the certificate of occupancy which sets out the maximum number of persons the facility may hold.
The following gatherings are prohibited:
- Social gatherings;
- Faith-based gatherings;
- Political gatherings;
- Traditional council meetings
Gatherings at a workplace for work purposes are allowed, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures.
Offences and penalties:
Any person who is found to have breached the above regulations is liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months – or both.
The gazette also notes that for the duration of the national state of disaster, any person who hinders, interferes with, or obstructs an enforcement officer in the exercise of their powers, or the performance of their duties in terms of these regulations, is also guilty of an offence.