Minister of Cooperative Governance and Corporate Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published amendments to the lockdown regulations which take effect immediately.
These changes include new travel regulations related to the opening up of certain land borders following prolonged restrictions on all land border crossings.
The new rules also prohibit additional categories of gatherings, namely community political meetings and political events.
These changes are summarised below.
Opening up of land borders
Following a prolonged closure of all land borders to neighbouring countries, the government has now reopened 20 of its land border crossings.
The regulations state that the 20 land borders which were partially operational will be fully operational and the 33 land borders which were closed will remain closed.
Travelling to and from South Africa over these borders is now allowed, subject to certain restrictions.
Daily commuters from neighbouring countries are required to adhere to COVID-19 protocols, including:
- COVID-19 screening and quarantine where necessary.
- The wearing of a face mask.
- Sanitisation and social distancing measures.
International air travel remains restricted to OR Tambo, King Shaka, and Cape Town International Airports.
Political events and traditional meetings
In a separate government gazette, Minister Dlamini-Zuma amended the lockdown regulations to include a ban on certain gatherings related to politics.
This regulation adds traditional community meetings and political events to the list of banned gathering types.
Gatherings at political events and traditional community meetings (izimbizo) are prohibited.
These types of gatherings are now included under the “specific exclusions” table in the regulations, along with all social gatherings, after-funeral gatherings, and night clubs.
Days after SONA 2021
The publication of these new regulations and the ban on political events follow days after the State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 11 February 2021.
This address was attended in person by a few ministers, with the majority attending the address via teleconferencing software.
During his address, Ramaphosa outlined the country’s recovery plan and lauded the progress being made in various initiatives deemed crucial to the country’s economic performance.
These included a renewed focus on local manufacturing as well as a plan to construct new smart cities across the country, beginning with a project centred around the Lanseria airport.
Provided the State of the Nation Address would be classified as a political meeting, it would not have been able to accommodate the physical attendance of ministers if the new regulations were published just a few days earlier.
The new adjusted level 3 lockdown regulations are embedded below.