Parents will also be able to buy winter clothes for their children as part of the adjusted restrictions for South Africa under level 4 lockdown.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addressed South Africa at a detailed briefing, on April 25, on the classification of industries as part of the risk adjusted strategy on re-opening the economy, as announced by President Ramaphosa on Thursday night.
At midnight on May 1 South Africa will move from a level 5 lockdown to level 4 restrictions.
“Level 4 means lockdown is still there but there will be a few things that will change. We should not think that when we move to level 4 that it means lockdown is gone. There will just be a few changes,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
She added there will be more people moving around and more companies will be open.
“The rest stays more of less the same. This is not the end of lockdown but it is merely the risk adjusted approach to it.”
“Pandemics do depress economies,” the minister said.
She equated the current pandemic to the Great Depression.
“The Great Depression came over time. This is coming quickly and South Africa was already in a weak economic position before the pandemic began.”
She said the measures being taken by government are aimed at reducing the curve of infection so as not to overwhelm the South African health services.
“The virus has exposed our deep fault lines. It has exposed issues of hunger, poverty, unemployment and inequality. It has exposed special planning inherited from Apartheid that hasn’t really changed in a critical way.”
“When we move to level 4, if we don’t stick to conditions and restrictions and the spread of the virus starts speeding up, government will have no option but to move quickly to level 5,” the minister said.
She added that if the rules are observed the country will eventually be moved to Level 3.
“It is in all our hands as individuals, collectives and companies. Every action we take is trying to curb the acceleration of the spread of the virus.
“There may come a time when we differentiate levels.”
The minister indicated that while some provinces may be at level 5, others could be moved to level 3 or level 2 depending on their risk of infections.
Restrictions to remain in place
Interprovincial travel is still prohibited, except under exceptional circumstances including returning to work, attending funerals under strict conditions and going back to school and university once allowed.
She stated that South Africans are to remain at home except if they are going to work, buying essential goods or seeking medical treatment.
“Visiting is still not allowed. You are not allowed to visit friends, neighbours or relatives”.
Dlamini-Zuma added that exercise will be allowed, but under strict conditions.
“Gyms will remain closed. There will be strict regulations under which exercise may be done”
She said that at level 4 there will be a curfew.
“If you come back from work, you stay at home,” the minister said.
Work places should observe strict sanitation and health regulations, including regular cleaning and testing of employees.
“When you leave your house you must wear a cloth face mask or scarft to cover your mouth and nose. It is mandatory. Social distancing is critical whether at home or at work,” she said.
“If companies that are allowed to open do not observe the heath protocols they should not be open.
“Industries must stick to guidelines set out.”
By opening sectors in the economy, government hopes to unlock some local production of goods for local consumption as well as export.
The opening of various sectors will allow for the purchasing of items necessary for the wellbeing of people.
“When we looked at industries we looked at the risk of transmission in those sectors and the measures that could be taken to ensure the risk is mitigated. We also looked at the risk if those sectors were to remain closed. We looked at the value of the sector in terms of GDP and employments and the promotion of community well-being,” the minister said.
Industries, where possible, are encourage to adopt a work from home policy.
“Those who are able to work from home must be allowed to do so,” she said.
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