On 28 May 2020, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (the Minister) promulgated amendments to the regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (the Regulations), providing the legal framework for Alert Level (AL) 3, to which the whole of South Africa will move from 1 June 2020. This note serves to outline the new regulatory framework pertaining to AL3 and to highlight the likely areas of interest or concern for B4SA members.
As amended, the Regulations are now structured in three broad parts: (i) general measures governing the national response to the state of disaster in overarching terms; (ii) a chapter setting out the law applicable under AL4; and (iii) a further chapter dealing with the situation under AL3. AL5 is not dealt with explicitly, but the list of essential services that was applicable during the initial lockdown period is still appended to the Regulations as Annexure D.
The Minister is empowered to determine which of ALs 1 – 5 apply at national, provincial, metropolitan or district level or in a “hotspot” and has declared as “hotspots” Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, Cape Town, West Coast, Overberg and Cape Winelands districts, Chris Hani district in the Eastern Cape and iLembe district in KwaZulu-Natal.
As alluded to in the President’s speech, it is envisaged that areas with higher levels of infection and less capacity in their health facilities may revert to AL4 or AL5. Any shift to a different AL in any area is enforceable only after the Minister has published a notice to that effect in the Government Gazette. If that happens, different regulations will be applicable in different geographical areas. Business for SA (B4SA) encourages the business community to be aware of that possibility, and of the possibility that the Regulations will continue to be amended and supplemented from time to time as the situation unfolds.
Travel between provinces and metro or municipal boundaries
The permits have always been issued by the heads of institutions or companies. Under AL4 and AL5, CIPC also provided a platform for issuing certificates showing that a company had registered with the CIPC as an permitted or essential service provider. Now that all companies (except those excluded) are permitted to operate, the CIPC certificate is irrelevant.
To the extent that employees are traveling between district and metropolitan areas or between provinces, all that is required is for the head of the company / institution to provide them with permits.
Specific measures for employees over 60
All employers are required to implement specific measures for the safe return to work for employees over 60 and with co-morbidities or, where possible, to facilitate their working from home.
Read the full guidance note at https://www.businessforsa.org/b4sa-level-3-guidance-note/
5-STEP ROADMAP TO RE-OPENING YOUR BUSINESS
How to re-open your business safely and legally
Every employer will, during each of the levels of lockdown and for the foreseeable future, have to adhere to detailed occupational health and safety protocols. This means that all employers must re-examine their activities, work environment and policies in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and may need to change, adapt or enhance these in order to operate.
The Return to Work 5 Step Roadmap provides valuable tools and guidelines to expedite a safe, effective and structured return to work plan.
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