Lockdown will be gradually phased out

April 21st, 2020

By Kgomotso Ramotsho

The ministers of the National Command Council (NCC) on COVID-19 held a media briefing on 16 April. The NCC announced some amendments to regulations that were already put in place for the lockdown. Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the extension regulations and amendments of existing regulations comes after the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the extension of the unprecedented nationwide lockdown.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma said transportation of liquor that is meant for drinking is prohibited, she pointed out that only liquor that is used for commercial purposes, such as sanitisers can be moved around. She added that at the beginning of the lockdown a decision was taken that all goods that come from high-risk countries would be sanitised, however, she said that decision has now been reversed as the NCC learned that the COVID-19 virus dies if goods have been at sea for a period of time.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma said as the country gets ready to lift the lockdown, the NCC has decided to start decongesting ports. Items that are at the ports must start being exported, so that as the lockdown is eased, companies that export goods do not find a congestion of goods. Regarding regulations on funeral attendance, the regulations will still remain. For children being co-parented, Ms Dlamini-Zuma pointed out that parents will have to prove that it is their child by producing a birth certificate that shows the connection between that parent and the child, or they should apply for a court order or papers from the family court stating the same.

Some of the industries that will be allowed to operate include: Mining, retail call centres, ICT employees, and employees of the Independent Electoral Commission will also be allowed to operate. Professional plumbers and electrician are also allowed to operate at private homes should there be a need for a plumber or electrician. Mechanics rendering essential services, are also allowed to operate, should they be needed for emergency repairs.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma said other regulations remain the same. She added that the NCC would make announcements on a weekly basis regarding which industries will be opening incrementally and also give updates on further conditions pertaining to those industries. She said that for now the lockdown will end on 30 April, however, she pointed out that even if it ends on 30 April, it cannot just be opened in one day like a ‘floodgate’. Ms Dlamini-Zuma said the lockdown must be lifted in an orderly way.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.