When President Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020 announced COVID-19 as a National State of Disaster, it set in motion a series of ministerial announcements.
Those, alongside a schedule of fines and imprisonment for flouting COVID-19 mitigation measures, are the basis of the regulations that were finally published on 18 March 2020.
Q: What were the general guidelines announced on 15 March 2020?
The following guidelines were been implemented by the South African Government on 15 March 2020:
• Travel ban on foreign nationals from high risk countries from 18 March 2020.
• SA citizens advised to refrain from travel to or through high risk countries effective immediately.
• SA citizens returning from high risk countries will have testing and self-isolation.
• All foreign nationals having arrived into the country since mid-February from high risk areas must be tested.
• All spheres of government must not take non-essential travel.
• Gathering of more than 100 people prohibited.
• Schools closed from 18 March until after the Easter weekend break.
• Visits to all correctional facilities cancelled for the next 30 days.
• All businesses must ensure all measures taken to intensify hygiene control.
• All shopping centres must ensure all measures taken to intensify hygiene control.
• Capacity of health facilities being increased nationally.
• Limitations on the hours for trading and serving of alcohol.
Q: What are the formal implications of the National State of Disaster and an imminent State of Emergency?
Following President Ramaphosa’s declaration of a National State of Disaster on 15 March 2020, the South African Government issued Disaster Management Act 2002 Regulation 8 on 18 March 2020.
The 2002 Disaster Management Act facilitates co-ordination, mitigation and recovery following a disaster, defined as a “natural or human-caused occurrence that causes disease, damage to property infrastructure or the environment or disruption of the life of a community”.
A national State of Disaster lasts three months. However, the co-operative governance minister may cut it short at any time. A national State of Disaster may be extended one month at a time.
Compliance with the already announced measures is key to avoid the escalation of the national State of Disaster to a State of Emergency.
Details on the State of Disaster and State of Emergency, as well as the implications and timelines can be found here:
Covid-19 State of Disaster vs State of Emergency: What’s the difference? (Source: Daily Maverick)
Q: Which live & useful resources are available?
Disaster Management Act 2002 Regulation 8
SA Department of Health Corona Resource Portal
National Institute for Communicable Diseases FAQ
Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Corona Virus Update
Visit Stellenbosch Corona Virus FAQ
Visit Winelands – tips & updates for visitors to the winelands, as well as wineries
SATSA’s comprehensive FAQ document and a general infographic that wineries can circulate to their teams.
Hotlines & live updates:
To receive information directly from the South African National Department of Health, save the number 060 012 3456 on WhatsApp and send ‘hi’.
The Coronavirus Outbreak 24-hour Hotline Number is 0800 029 999.