What Ramaphosa said about the lockdown – and new regulations this week

Last night President Cyril Ramaphosa provided feedback on South Africa’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and gave some details on the way forward.

Ramaphosa said despite its duration and its severity, the lockdown was necessary to delay the spread of the virus and prevent a huge surge in infections.

He said without the lockdown and related measures at least 80,000 South Africans could have been infected by now and the death toll could have been 8 times higher.

“We should never forget that the purpose of the lockdown was to delay the spread of the virus and prevent a huge surge of infections,” he said.

“By delaying the spread of the disease, we have been able to strengthen the capacity of our health system and to put in place wide-ranging public health programmes to better manage the inevitable increase in infections.”

The country now has nearly 25,000 additional beds available for quarantine and the government was able to source and produce large quantities of personal protective equipment for health workers, vital medical equipment and other supplies.

Ramaphosa said for now, infections are mostly concentrated in a few metropolitan municipalities and districts in the country.

This means that most of the country can be moved to a lower alert level which will allow for more relaxed regulations.

Here is what Ramaphosa said about the plans to move to alert level 3 and changes to the current level 4 regulations which were recently published.


Moving from level 4 to level 3

A consultation process has begun to move to level 3 by the end of May. However, parts of the country with the highest rates of infection remain on level 4.

Ramaphosa did not give details on which parts of the country will remain on level 4, but the government did release a map to show the prevalence of COVID-19 in different areas.

COVID-19 prevalence


Relaxing the current level 4 rules

Ramaphosa said in the coming days changes to level 4 regulations will be announced. This will include expanding permitted business activities in the retail space and ecommerce and reducing restrictions on exercise.


Allowing car sales

The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition has released new directions which allow the trade of new and used cars.

The regulations also allow trade-in purchases, car lease scheme returns, and wholesale trading of used cars.

For more information about these rules, see: New rules for buying or selling cars during lockdown


New rules to fix or service your car during lockdown

The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition’s new directions allow car maintenance and repairs under alert level 4 of the lockdown.

There are, however, strict rules under which automobile repairs and maintenance should be done.

For more information about these rules, see: New rules to fix or service your car during lockdown


The detailed list of which clothes you can buy

The Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition Ebrahim Patel has issued new directions on the sale of clothes and shoes in South Africa.

These directions give a detailed breakdown of the type of clothing, footwear, and bedding which may be sold by retailers during alert level 4.

Clothing, Footwear, and Bedding
All baby and toddler clothing and footwear
All children’s wear: including outerwear, underwear, sleepwear, school wear and shoes, footwear, socks, related accessories
All maternity wear
All adult sleepwear and gowns
The following adult footwear categories: boots, slippers, closed-toe heels, closed-toe flat shoes, sneakers and trainers, smart closed-toe shoes, casual closed-toe shoes.
The following adult outerwear categories: active wear, including gym, running and other exercise apparel, knitwear, jackets and coats, dresses, long-sleeved tops, long-sleeved t-shirts, denim jeans and denim jackets, pants, skirts, short-sleeved knit tops, where promoted and displayed as worn under cardigans and knitwear, short-sleeved t-shirts, where promoted and displayed as undergarments for warmth, leggings, crop bottoms worn with boots and leggings, shirts, either short- or long-sleeved, where displayed and promoted to be worn under jackets coats and/or knitwear, golf shirts, one-pieces such as bodysuits
The following adult accessories: shawls and scarves, beanies, gloves, socks, belts, headwear, gym and exercise apparel accessories, and hair accessories.
The following bedding categories: baby bedding and blankets, duvets, duvet inners, blankets, comforters, quilts, mattress protectors, pillows, throws, sheets and pillow cases, electric blankets

For more details about the list, visit: The detailed list of clothes you are allowed to buy in South Africa


New list of small businesses which can open

Minister of Small Business Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has published a directive outlining what small and micro-businesses are allowed to sell during the lockdown.

According to the new directive the following business can operate:

  • Small scale bakeries and confectioneries, hardware stores and informal restaurants and shisanyamas (for home deliveries only).
  • Trades necessary for rendering emergency repair work, including plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, glaziers, and roof repair work.
  • Tow trucks, vehicle recovery and automobile repairs (motor mechanics), including small-scale workshops, small-scale motor body repair shops, and fitment centres.
  • Sole traders within the clothing and textiles and confectionery business.

For more details about the list, visit: 3 new lockdown rules for South Africa including the opening of more small businesses


Now read: The detailed list of clothes you are allowed to buy in South Africa

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What Ramaphosa said about the lockdown – and new regulations this week