Updated: Apr 18, 2020
The declaration of the 'Covid-19 National disaster' under the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002 brings with it the need for legislative adjustments, necessary to address identified legal consequences arising from it. This is achieved by publishing statutory regulations, directives and consequential amendments to regulate the overall landscape of the National lock-down and the far reaching effect thereof from a regulatory and statutory perspective.
This post is in update to our blog post "All you need to know about our Remote COVID-19 service" as the following developments in this regard should be noted:
On 31 March 2020 under Government Gazette no. 43191 the Minister of Justice and correctional services issued new directions in terms of Regulation 10 of the Regulations under the Disaster Management Act, in which the Directions issued under Government Gazette No. 43167 of 26 March 2020 were withdrawn.
The most notable changes in reviewing the new Regulations, are:
the removal of the previous suspension of time limits for compliance with the rules of Court (dies non); and
the removal of arrangements for children to be moved between parents.
Faber & Allin Inc. Attorneys draw their clients' attention to the aforesaid revised position being the position as at 01 April 2020 in respect of access to Courts and the provision of legal services, to combat the spread of Covid-19 in all Courts, Court precincts and Justice service points in the Republic of South Africa.
It is imperative to note that the declaration of a National Disaster under the Disaster Management Act is not the same as a Constitutionally declared state of emergency, although both involve the Constitutional limitation of rights in different instances and to different degrees. The Constitution balances Constitutional Rights with a Constitutional Limitation of Rights.
Clients and members of the public are cautioned to seek appropriate legal advice before exercising any perceived rights under the National COVID-19 measures (Regulations and/or Directives) as the said measures provide for general offences, lockdown offences, contact tracing offences and further regulatory sanctions.
This post is not intended as legal or professional advice and has been prepared as a summary and opinion on general principles of law or other common practice and is published for general information purposes only.