COVID-19 

“This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.” 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,  Director-General of the World Health Organization

 
Below is a comprehensive guide of facts and credible links related to the Coronavirus in South Africa. 
Visit this page regularly for any updates or changes. 

Fact Sheet

Do you have any lockdown questions you'd like us to answer?  Email your question to:  info@outa.co.za 

Government has published a number of regulations, declarations, directives and instructions in relation to the coronavirus, and key statements.

Click on any of the links below to find these documents.


Disaster Management Act of 2002. This is the Act in terms of which the key regulations are issued. The Act is administered by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), who makes regulations in terms of this Act.

15 March 2020: The Covid-19 pandemic is classified as a national disaster.

15 March 2020: A national state of disaster is declared due to Covid-19.

15 March 2020: In a speech to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the state of national disaster and the first restrictions.

18 March 2020: The CoGTA Ministry issues regulations under the Disaster Management Act. This included arrangements for:  help from the Defence Force; funding from donors; prohibitions on gatherings; instructions for those with Covid-19; places of quarantine and isolation; closure of schools and penal facilities; limits on alcohol sales; emergency procurement procedures; authority for various ministers to issue directions in connection with Covid-19; and the listing of offences and penalties for contravention of the regulations.

18 March 2020: The Ministry of Transport issues the first restrictions on air travel and sea ports.

19 March 2020: The Ministry of Trade and Industry exempts the health sector from parts of the Competition Act and issues regulations to safeguard consumers from excessively high prices of key goods.

19 March 2020: National Treasury issues Instruction 8 of 2019/20 under the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), and Circular 100 under the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), both relating to emergency procurement arising from Covid-19.

20 March 2020: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng issued directions on how courts are to operate.

23 March 2020: The Ministry of Trade and Industry exempts the banking sector from parts of the Competition Act.

23 March 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour issues a notice on compensation for occupationally acquired Covid-19.

24 March 2020: The Ministry of Trade and Industry exempts the retail property sector from parts of the Competition Act.

24 March 2020: In a speech to the nation, President Ramaphosa announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown from midnight on 26 April to midnight on 16 April.

25 March 2020: CoGTA Ministry issues regulations on the lockdown and directions to the municipalities and provinces on managing Covid-19 and on the lockdown.

25 March 2020: The President informs Parliament that he has authorised the deployment of 2820 SANDF members in support of the SAPS and for border control, arising from the pandemic, from 26 March to 26 June 2020 at a cost of R641m. A copy of the letter is here.

26 March 2020: CoGTA Ministry amends the disaster regulations, which includes ordering that buses, taxis and e-hailing services may not carry more than 50% of their passenger capacity and private vehicles may not carry more than 60%.

26 March 2020: The Ministry of Home Affairs limits movements across South Africa's borders. 

26 March 2020: The Ministry of Transport repeals the order of 18 March on air travel, and replaces it with an order to shut down all international and domestic passenger flights and limit freight flights to certain airports. The Ministry also repeals the regulations of 18 March on sea ports, and issues further directions on sea ports , directions on railways, directions on taxis and buses, and directions on cross-border road transport.

26 March 2020: The Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Technologies issues directions on communications, including the required dissemination of public information on Covid-19, and instructions enabling the tracking and tracing of people infected with Covid-19 through internet location information and cellphone tracking. 

26 March 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour sets up the Covid-19 Temporary Employee / Employer Relief Scheme, using the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

26 March 2020: The Ministry of Justice issues directions on courts, which includes restricts movements into courts, arranges for the postponement of court cases and makes arrangements for court operations such as family law services.

27 March 2020: The Ministry of Trade and Industry increases controls over the export of certain medical supplies and exempts the hotel industry from sections of the Competition Act. 

27 March 2020: The Ministry of Transport updates the directions of 26 March on air freight transport, increasing the number of airports open for freight.

29 March 2020: The Ministry of Finance announces an initial set of measures to assist tax compliant businesses with cash flow assistance and provide an incentive to businesses to retain their lower-income employees.

30 March 2020: The CoGTA Ministry directions to municipalities include suspending council meetings and following National Treasury directions on emergency procurement. The Ministry of Finance extends certain MFMA reporting deadlines for municipalities.

30 March 2020: The Ministry of Transport's updates on road transport include setting the times taxis may operate, extending the validity of driving and vehicle licences which would expire during the lockdown, and declaring certain jobs like road emergency operators and toll operators as essential services.

30 March 2020: The Ministry of Social Development issues directions on access to social services.

30 March 2020: In a speech to the nation, President Ramaphosa announces a screening, testing, tracing and medical management programme which will involve 10 000 field workers visiting homes in villages, towns and cities to screen people for Covid-19 and refer those who need it for testing.

31 March 2020: The Ministry of Foresty, Fisheries and Environment extends deadlines relating to environmental licences and authorisations.

31 March 2020: The Ministry of Justice issues further directions on the operations of courts.

31 March 2020: The Ministry of Transport changes the operating times for taxis and buses carrying essential services workers, and amends air transport directions to allow special flights for repatriation of South Africans, evacuation of foreigners and the operation of emergency flights. 

31 March 2020: The Ministry of Finance extends certain PFMA deadlines for organs of state.

2 April 2020: The CoGTA Ministry updates regulations on aspects of the lockdown. This includes updates on movement, essential services, borders, funerals, commuter transport (including updating passenger numbers in buses, taxis and cars), and the establishment of a Covid-19 Tracing Database.

2 April 2020: The Ministry of Tourism closes all tourist accommodation including hotels, resorts and game reserves, with certain exceptions.

2 April 2020: The Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) sets rules for licensees for public dissemination of information on Covid-19, including ordering that sign-language interpreters must be used in at least 50% of television news broadcasts at peak hours and in all broadcasts by the National Command Council. The rules also enable ICASA to temporarily assign radio frequency spectrum.

3 April 2020: The Ministry of Trade and Industry sets out how the Competition Tribunal will deal with complaints of excessive prices in connection with Covid-19.

3 April 2020: The Information Regulator of SA issues guidelines on the use of personal information in combatting the spread of Covid-19, emphasising the right to privacy of those tested for or infected with Covid-19.

6 April 2020: The Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies amends the communications directions of 26 March, requiring cellphone companies to make available connectivity to 152 district virtual classroom platforms, and ordering free access to specified Covid-19 websites and the Covid-19 emergency number.

6 April 2020: The Ministry of Small Business Development issues directions on how small businesses should operate, including spaza shops.

7 April 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour publishes the extension of the National Textile Bargaining Council's Covid-19 lockdown collective agreement, making it applicable across the industry.

7 April 2020: The Ministry of Social Development updates directions of 30 March, including on access to social services and on the movement of children between parents who don't live together.

7 April 2020: The Ministry of Transport updates the number of passengers which taxis may carry and updates directions on sea ports, blocking passenger vessels.

8 April 2020: The Ministry of Trade and Industry expands the block exemption of the health industry from sections of the Competition Act, improving coordination of medical supplies.

8 April 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour updates directions of 25 March on the Covid-19 Temporary Relief Scheme and UIF.

8 April 2020: The Ministry of Health issues directions on health personnel recruitment and training. This allows emergency recruitment of health staff, including bringing back retired staff, and allows deployments. It also orders that all health personnel, both public (at national, provincial and local government level) and private, must be trained on Covid-19 to help manage the pandemic. The directions also cover provision of equipment, disposal of waste and mortuaries.

9 April 2020: The SA Nursing Council orders that retired nurses who return to work during the Covid-19 pandemic will be registered without having to pay fees.

9 April 2020: The Ministries of Health and Trade and Industry jointly set out the extent to which call centres may operate during the lockdown. 

9 April 2020: The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services updates the directions of 18 March on prisons and remand facilities.

9 April 2020: The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture suspends all sporting, arts, cultural and religious events in stadiums and venues.

9 April 2020: In a speech to the nation, President Ramaphosa extends the national lockdown by another two weeks, until midnight on 30 April.

11 April 2020: The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy extends deadlines on permissions, rights and permits.

13 April 2020: Epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim's presentation to the Minister of Health on SA's Covid-19 epidemic: Trends and Next Steps. Abdool Karim is the government's chief advisor on Covid-19.

14 April 2020: Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni speaks about the government's economic response to Covid-19.

15 April 2020: ICASA sets up the free telephone number 111 for Covid-19 national emergency services. The public can call or SMS this number without being charged. This number will fall away three months after the end of the National State of Disaster.

15 April 2020: National Treasury issues Instruction 3 of 2020/21, a strategy for central emergency procurement for PFMA organs of state, and Circular 101 on the same strategy under the MFMA.

15 April 2020: Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation sets up a National Disaster Water Command Centre, operating out of Rand Water.

16 April 2020: The CogTA Ministry issues updated lockdown regulations, for the extension of the lockdown to 30 April.

17 April 2020: The Chief Justice issues directions on the management of courts.

17 April 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour extends the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council collective agreement on Covid-19 temporary relief to the rest of the industry.

17 April 2020: The Ministry of Higher Education extends various deadlines for public and private higher education institutions, and lists essential goods and services for higher education institutions.

20 April 2020: The CoGTA Ministry issues an update to regulations on food

21 April 2020: Statement to the nation by President Ramaphosa on further economic and social measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

22 April 2020: Letter from President Cyril Ramaphosa tabled in Parliament, informing Parliament of the extended deployment of the SANDF in support of the SAPS and to control borders, from 2 April to 26 June 2020. This takes the SANDF deployment from the 2 820 deployed on 25 March to 76 000, at a revised cost estimated at R4.590bn.

23 April 2020: Statement to the nation by President Ramphosa on how the lockdown will be lifted on 1 May.

23 April 2020: The National Treasury explains further tax measures to combat the pandemic, with further explanatory notes, and issues a notice on expanding access to living annuities.

24 April 2020: Statement by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on the R500bn support package and the Treasury's outline of the Covid-19 loan scheme for SMMEs

29 April 2020: The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy issues directions on measures for mining operations.

29 April 2020: The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology updates its directions on its list of essential goods and services for the sector, which includes textbooks.

29 April 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour issues directions on health and safety in the workplace.

29 April 2020: The National Treasury updates emergency procurement measures: see the Treasury's statement, the Treasury Instruction no.5 and its annexure A and Annexure B.

29 April 2020: The CoGTA Ministry issues regulations on the phasing in of service for Level 4 of lockdown.

30 April 2020: The Ministry of Health extends the maximum period for issuing of prescriptions for  schedule 2, 3 and 4 substances from six to 12 months; this is updated on 7 May.

30 April 2020: The National Treasury publishes Economic Measures for Covid-19 and a technical paper on Financing a Sustainable Economy, and its presentation to Parliament on the financial implications of Covid-19.

30 April 2020: The CoGTA Ministry updates Level 4 regulations on the once-off movement between provinces to return home or to work. The Transport Ministry issues directions on public transport for the once-off movement between provinces.

1 May 2020: National Treasury revises the Covid-19 Draft Tax Bills with a call for comment by 15 May.

3 May 2020: The Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies issues directions on what communications and ICT services may be provided under Level 4 lockdown.

4 May 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour extends Covid-19 lockdown agreement with the National Bargaining Council for the Electrical Industry to the whole sector, and the amended agreement on textile workers to that sector. The Ministry also amends the directive on the Covid-19 Temporary Employee / Employer Relief Scheme

4 May 2020: The Ministry of Finance includes certain financial services in the list of essential services.

4 May 2020: The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services updates the directions on courts, including postponing most criminal trials.

4 May 2020: The Ministry of Transport updates the directions on the validity of learner, driving and vehicle licences and on the opening of testing centres. The Ministry updated the directions on public transport including operating times and passenger capacity, and extended the hours for public transport between provinces. The Ministry also updates directions on air freight, on railway operations, and on sea ports.

4 May 2020: The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture provided direction for the creative sector on film and television content production

5 May 2020: The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation extends the time for employers to submit applications for mandatory grants to the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

5 May 2020: ICASA updates regulations on aspects of broadcasting relating to the use of local content.

5 May 2020: The Ministry of Trade and Industry expands the scope of the Competition Act block exemption for the banking sector.

5 May 2020: The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy publishes a court order on operating procedures for mines under Covid-19. 

6 May 2020: The Chief Justice issues further directions on the management of courts.

6 May 2020: the Ministry of Transport updates the times which public transport may operate.

7 May 2020: The CoGTA Ministry updates the directions on municipal governance

7 May 2020: The CoGTA Ministry permits previously arranged home removals from 7 May to 7 June. 

7 May 2020: The Ministry of Health amends the Medical Schemes Act Regulations to include Covid-19 in the list of prescribed minimum benefits

8 May 2020: The President issues a proclamation listing the categories of prisoners who may be paroled early.

8 May 2020: The Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies amends directions of 26 March and 6 April.

9 May 2020: The Social Development Ministry updates directions on social services, including the release of inmates from facilities, the extension of temporary grants and grants which lapse, to allow the electronic application for grants, the movement of children.

9 May 2020: The Ministry of Health updates directions on movement across South Africa's borders for emergency medical treatment, the return of South Africans and the repatriation of foreign nationals.

11 May 2020: The Chief Inspector of Mines issues draft guidelines for the mitigation of Covid19. The deadline for comments is 14 May.

12 May 2020: The Ministry of Small Business Development lists small businesses which may operate.

12 May 2020: The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition allows certain clothing, footwear and bedding to be sold and allows trade in cars and certain auto repairs.

13 May 2020: The Ministry of Higher Education and Training allows final year medical students to travel back to universities.

14 May 2020: The CoGTA Ministry issues directions on the movement of people and goods, for relocations.

14 May 2020: The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition allows trading through e-commerce platforms.

14 May 2020: The Ministry of Transport amends directions for railway operations, partly reopening the Gautrain.

14 May 2020: The Ministry of forestry, Fisheries and Environment issues directions relating to the processing of permits, registrations and certificates, directions for the freshwater and marine fishing sectors, and on recycling.

15 May 2020: The Ministry of Employment and Labour updates directions on the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme.

15 May 2020: The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy extends the list of permitted goods and services for energy projects to include, among others, civil engineering works for REIPPs, embedded generation project, the ongoing build of Medupi and Kusile, the department's solar water heater programme.

18 May 2020: Department of Mineral Resources and Energy issues Guidelines for a Mandatory Code of Practice on the Mitigation and Management of Covid-19 Outbreak. 

20 May 2020: Ministry of Transport extends the validity of learner's licences, driving licences, licence discs, professional driving permits and vehicle registrations which expired since 26 March to be valid for 90 days from 1 June. 

22 May 2020: Ministry of Transport amends directions on public transport, including allowing food delivery.

25 May 2020: Ministry of Health issues directions on mortuaries and funerals.

26 May 2020: Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment amends directions on the biodiversity sector.

26 May 2020: Ministry of Employment and Labour amends directions on the Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme and extends the clothing manufacturing Covid-19 agreement to other parties.

26 May 2020: Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation allows final year medical students to return to universities.

26 May 2020: Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies amends directions on the Post Office.

28 May 2020: CoGTA Ministry determines that Alert Level 3 of lockdown will apply from 1 June, and lists hotspots, and issues directions on religious gatherings.

29 May 2020: Ministry of Basic Education issues directions on the re-opening of schools.

30 May 2020: Ministry of Transport amends directions on rail services, on long-distance public transport, and on air services.

1 June 2020: Ministry of Basic Education updates directions regarding re-opening of schools.

1 June 2020: Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation issues directions for resumption of construction in higher education and training institutions.

2 June 2020: Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services issues directions on the courts and justice sector.

4 June 2020: Ministry of Employment and Labour issues directions on workplace health and safety.

5 June 2020: Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies issues directions on the zero-rating of websites for education and health.

5 June 2020: Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries issues directions on the biodiversity sector, on the freshwater and marine fishing sectors, on the forestry sector and on environmental management permits and licences.

5 June 2020: CoGTA Ministry extends the Covid-19 state of national disaster to 15 July 2020.

8 June 2020: Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation issues directions on the return of students to universities and higher education institutions.

10 June 2020: Ministry of Home Affairs amends directions on crossing borders.

11 June 2020: Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture amends directions on the live streaming of creative sector services and amends directions to allow professional non-contact sports matches.

11 June 2020: Ministry of Basic Education publishes an updated school calendar for 2020.

11 June 2020: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition amends or withdraws various regulations on calls centres, vehicle sales and repairs, sale of clothing and on the retail property sector.

12 June 2020: Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies updates directions for the communications sector.

19 June 2020: Ministry of Small Business Development issues directions on the personal care services industry.

19 June 2020: Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy issues directions permitting supply of energy and petroleum products for civil engineering for public works projects.

22 June 2020: Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services issues directions on prisons.

23 June 2020: Ministry of Basic Education issues directions on the re-opening of schools.

24 June 2020: Minister of Finance tables the Supplementary Budget resulting from the effects of Covid-19, including the Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill and the Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill.

25 June 2020: CoGTA Ministry updates regulations on Covid-19, including regulations on contact tracing, travel and gatherings.

26 June 2020:  Ministry of Health updates the directions on the costs of quarantine. The Ministry also exempts licensed sellers of ventilators from the provisions of the Hazardous Substances Act, and excludes certain alcohol-based hand rubs from certain sections of the Medicines and Related Substances Act.

29 June 2020: Ministry of Tourism issues directions for tourism facilities.

29 June 2020: Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation issues directions on reopening of training institutions.

29 June 2020: Ministry of Basic Educations amends directions on the re-opening of schools.

2 July 2020: Ministry of Tourism updates directions on air services.

2 July 2020: Ministry of Social Development updates directions on social development facilities.

3 July 2020: Ministry of Defence notice confirming that President has authorised the extension of the deployment of 20 000 members of the SANDF within South Africa to assist the SAPS and for border control from 27 June to 30 September 2020.


Parliamentary oversight on Covid-19 

The Parliamentary Monitoring Group is tracking oversight by Parliament.  For more information see the PMG's parliamentary oversight and discussions.



 

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“We will succeed, we will adapt and we will all act responsibly. If we work together and stick to the path we know together, we will beat this disease.

We will overcome.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa