It doesn’t seem real at times, but the essential changes South Africa will soon undergo is grounded firmly in fact: The lockdown regulations have been published and shared by the respective departmental ministers, and it requires a monumental effort from us all. Our ‘last day of freedom’, if you like, promises to be a watershed moment for the country.
South Africa’s ‘last day of freedom’
At 23:59 on Thursday, the new lockdown regulations come into play. They will be in place for the next three weeks, eventually being lifted on Thursday 16 April. Truly, this is a war against coronavirus, and the plan is to starve the nasty little germ of human hosts. Shutting down the country could save thousands of lives.
The official blueprint for our lockdown was published on Wednesday night. It makes for some stern, solemn reading. Essentially, you can only leave your house if it’s an absolute necessity, and everything bar the grocery shops and hospitals are closed for the time being. Here’s what you need to know about the Disaster Management Act’s major revelations.
Lockdown regulations for South Africa – the definitive guide:
Well, the police now have some sweeping powers – if you’re suspected of having coronavirus, they can detain you. And you have absolutely no rights to sue officers for loss or damage of your possessions as a result of this, either..The only reasons any of us have for leaving the house is if we’re obtaining essential goods (groceries, health supplies or fuel), providing an essential service, collecting a social grant, or seeking emergency medical treatment.If you leave your house for none of the reasons above, you’ll be subject to a fine and a possible jail sentence for breaching the lockdown regulations.All gatherings, even in the home, are banned. Funerals with 50 guests or less are the only exception. You cannot move between cities, towns or provinces – lockdown means lockdown, and you must remain at your home. Our national borders are also closed.Businesses, retail stores and shopping malls must be closed unless they’re providing an essential service.There will be no rail operations, both public or private, during the 21-day lockdown period. All international and domestic flights are prohibited, irrespective of the risk category of the country of origin. Only essential air cargo will be allowed. A ban on cruise ships at sea ports will be “strictly enforced,” Minibus taxis will only be allowed to transport essential services staff during related hours. They will be allowed to operate from 5:00 to 9:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00 in the lockdown regulations. Vehicles and ranks will be heavily sanitised.The sale of alcohol is prohibited during lockdown. You’re also not allowed to leave the house for a jog or to walk the dog – a rule that was amended on Wednesday evening.
Lockdown regulations: What are essential goods and services?
Essential goods include: Food, non-alcoholic beverages, animal food, cleaning and hygiene products, medical supplies, fuel and gas, airtime/electricity.
Essential services include: Medical professionals, emergency services, financial and banking work, food production/distribution teams, grocery stores and certain spaza shops, electricity and water suppliers, fuel production/distribution, essential government and municipal services, care workers, veterinary professionals, funeral and mortuary services, wildlife units, media outlets, cleaning and sanitation services, judicial and court workers, private security, air traffic controllers, selected SARS staff, police and soldiers, certain transport providers, Parliamentary representatives, and human rights activists.
Lockdown is not to punish anyone, but to reduce the unnecessary movements, says Minister Mbalula #SouthAfricaLockdown #21daylockdown— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) March 25, 2020