South Africa’s national state of disaster extended by 1 month

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has extended the national state of disaster by one month.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu announced that the government will extend the state of disaster by a further month at a press briefing today.

Dlamini-Zuma declared a national state of disaster under Section 27(1) and Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002, on 15 March 2020.

According to the Act, “a national state of disaster that has been declared lapses three months after it has been declared”, which means it was set to lapse on 15 June.

The Act further states that a national state of disaster “may be extended by the Minister by notice in the Gazette for one month at a time before it lapses”.

This is exactly what Dlamini-Zuma has done, which means the state of disaster will now only lapse on 15 July.

Why the extension was necessary

The national state of disaster extension was necessary to ensure the current alert level 3 lockdown regulations will remain in force.

Legal expert Daniel Pretorius, a partner at Bowmans, previously explained that the regulations rely on the state of disaster.

“The regulations will only remain in force for as long as there is a state of disaster. If the state of disaster is not extended, the regulations will lapse,” said Pretorius.

Pretorius added that there is no restriction on the number of times the Minister may extend the state of disaster.

This means Dlamini-Zuma can extend the state of disaster, one month at a time, for as long as she deems it necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now read: South Africa’s state of disaster will end on 15 June – Here is what will happen next

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South Africa’s national state of disaster extended by 1 month