On 16 September 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the easing of the risk-adjusted strategy of the national lockdown to Alert Level 1, which commenced at midnight on 20 September 2020.
On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, at 0h00, the South African national lockdown was downgraded from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2. Regulations prescribing the legal parameters of the Alert Level 2 restrictions and allowances were published on the same day and many of them are discussed here.
COVID-19 Update – Alert Level 3 Stays in place (with further restrictions) as we prepare for “the storm”:
His address did not declare an escalation of the alert level currently in place, as widely expected, but rather confirmed that whilst the Alert Level 3 Regulations would, for now, remain in force, that these Regulations would be further limited and refined in certain respects. The increase in the degree of restriction under the Level 3 Regulations was justified by the President as being necessary to curb the impending storm predicted early on by experts advising government
As most of us are aware, The Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (the Act) was signed into law on 26 November 2013 and we have written numerous articles on the topic in the last few years while waiting for the Act to become fully operational. Certain sections of the Act have been implemented incrementally since April 2014, but it has mostly been a paper tiger.
The lockdown is unconstitutional – De Beer and Others v Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
The lockdown is unconstitutional! The North Gauteng High Court’s decision in De Beer and Others v Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (21542/2020). this means that for the next 14 business days, South Africans will continue to live under the regulations of Alert Level 3. Before the expiry of those 14 days, the Minister must republish regulations which give due consideration to the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
Following the declaration by President on 15 April 2020 that the national lockdown will be extended by two weeks, various amendments to the existing lockdown Regulations were published on 16 April 2020 (“the Amendments”). These amendments will govern private and commercial transactions and restrictions until the lockdown is lifted, which for now is set as being on 01 May 2020. This article will briefly discuss the most relevant of these amendments and their impact.
The Covid-19 Temporary Relief Scheme (“the Scheme”) was implemented by the Department of Labour as a direct remedial response to the havoc wrecked on small to medium enterprises (“SMME’s”) by the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst the Scheme has been active and functional since 26 March 2020, amendments published to the Directive responsible for the implementation of the Scheme on 08 April 2020 have clarified the application of the Scheme and have further refined its operation.
The Property Industry Group (PIG) give some relief to tenants who can accept their landlord’s offer to provide for any of the relief. It should also be noted that any acceptance of a landlord’s offer for a remission of rental, in accordance with the PIG’s relief package, should be considered against whether or not a landlord is entitled to rental at all. Tenants are not bound to accept these terms; however, once an election has been made, such decision is final, and any rights waived can likely not be revisited. We would therefore urge tenants to take proper advice, and to consider the full extent of their rights before accepting any such offers from landlords.
The imposition of Covid-19 Contact Testing almost certainly limits the right to privacy. Whether this limitation can be considered unconstitutional is a question best left to the courts for adjudication, however, given the novel nature of the pandemic and the checks and balances built into Chapter 3 to prevent its abuse, it is highly likely that the contact Testing programme will pass constitutional muster in the event that it is tested.