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COVID-19 Amended Regulations and Directives: The position as at 17 April 2020

Following on as a continuation post, which should be read together with our previous post updates, we outline the most notable amendments, of relevance to this firm and our clients, to the ever evolving Regulations and Directives issued under the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002:

Amendment Regulations issued in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, published in Government Gazette No. 43232 on 16 April April 2020

  1. The closure of schools and partial care facilities have been extended to 30 April 2020

  2. The prohibition on the transportation of liquor has been qualified by exempting the transport of alcohol required by industries producing hand sanitisers. disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use and household cleaning products

  3. The prohibition on the movement of children was further expanded to allow for the instance of a co-holder of parental responsibilities and rights being in possession of a birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate of the child / children to prove a legitimate relationship between the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights

  4. A prohibition on eviction of any person from their place of residence. regardless of whether it is a formal or informal residence or a farm dwelling, for the remainder of the lock down

  5. Essential goods have been expanded to include:

  • hardware, components and supplies required by qualified tradespersons solely for the purpose of emergency repairs at residential homes

  • hardware, components and supplies required by an entity engaged in the provision of essential services for any project related to the provision of water, electricity or other essential services

  • components for vehicles used by a person engaged in essential work and for emergency repairs.

Stores selling hardware products and vehicle components must maintain a register of persons buying such items and must keep a record of signed declarations by the buyer thereof attesting that the goods purchased are essential goods in terms of the Regulations. The declaration must accord with prescribed Form 4 of Annexure C to the Regulations.

6. Essential services have been expanded to include:

  • gold, gold refinery, coal and mining

  • services rendered by the Institutions and Commissioners of - The South African Human rights commission, Gender Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector as well as the Independent Electoral Commission

  • call centres necessary to provide health, safety, social support, government and financial services, debt restructuring for consumers of retailers, and access to short term insurance policies as a result of reduced income or loss of income

  • Trades necessary for the rendering of emergency repair work including plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, glaziers and roof repair work

  • Trades necessary for emergency automobile repairs for persons rendering essential services

  • Information and Communication Technology services rendered to entities and institutions engaged in delivering essential

Directives issued by Chief Justice Mogoeng in terms of Section 8(3) of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013 for the management of Courts on 17 April 2020

  1. There shall be no open Court sittings during the lock-down period save for urgent applications, bail applications and urgent matters arising from the activities associated with Disaster Management

  2. All civil trials enrolled for hearing during the lock-down period, as extended, is removed from the trial roll and the re-enrolment shall be determined by the relevant Heads of Courts

  3. Provision is made for the hearing of applications and matters trough video conferencing and other electronic means

On 17 April 2020 Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa issued a comprehensive supplementary Directive for Court Operations in the Johannesburg & Pretoria High Courts during the extended Covid-19 National lock-down, and for the remainder of Term 2/2020.

The aforesaid Directive prescribes procedural and administrative requirements for legal practitioners, and the scope thereof is beyond the intent of this post.


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.

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