21-Day Lockdown: A summary of updated guidelines

Lawyer Helene Eloff explains what the regulations entail.

The fourth amendment of South Africa’s regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act has incorporated new guidelines all residents must adhere to.

Key amendments include what funeral-goers are allowed to do and the expansion of essential goods and services lists.

South Africa’s government will now be collecting the personal information of all those who have been infected with or tested for the coronavirus. A national database compiled by the Department of Health will also include the information of those who have been in contact with a patient.

In this feature, Caxton Local Media summarises the voluminous regulations as announced publicly on April 1.

Those who want to apply for a permit to cross district, metropolitan or provincial borders to attend a funeral, can download the relevant permit application form and affidavit (in the absence of a death certificate of the deceased) here:



If you wish to register as an essential goods or service provider, click here to access the Department of Trade and Industry’s website.

The National Department of Health has been mandated to compile a database featuring the details of all persons tested for Covid-19.

Mobile service providers must assist the Director-General of Health if the latter is unable to locate any patient or person who has been tested or anyone who has been in contact with such a person.

The video below explains the effects on rights to privacy, how personal information will be gathered and what happens to it.

The recently updated guidelines also indicate that vehicles used to transport people in connection with essential goods or services may only be filled to a certain percentage of its capacity.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula stressed the following during a press briefing on the amended regulations.

In addition to the above, the categorisation of essential goods and services has changed – certain goods and services have been added.

On the information blocks below, the most recently amended text has been indicated in bold red letters.

Although every attempt was made to keep readers fully updated on the latest lockdown rules, we have made the officially published PDF document available below.


On 2020/03/26, this publication reported:

It is hours before South Africans will be locked down for 21 days.

Nine hundred residents have tested positive for Covid-19, also known as the new coronavirus. Almost half a million people have been infected worldwide. Twenty two thousand have died.

Two sets of regulations have been published by the South African Government. The first was dated March 17, 2020 and the second, March 25.

Yesterday, ministers explained how the nationwide lockdown will work. Both documents are available to the public, but many find the technical jargon puzzling.

Caxton Local Media makes use of podcasts and infographics to summarise what readers need to know in order to be compliant. This feature contains only what is said in the published regulations – phrased in everyday English.


As the podcast above explains, we are all expected to stay inside our homes. Essential trips may be made. This includes trips to your closest grocery store, pharmacy or as dictated by medical emergency.

Those who perform essential services or are involved in the making, packaging and distribution of essential goods may leave their homes on order to do their jobs. These people will have to possess the applicable permits and proof of identification.

Government has provided a guideline for the permits required:

NOTE: Click here for an important announcement from the Department of Trade and Industry regarding these permits.

This infographic sets out what qualifies as essential goods.

Caxton Local Media has made a list on essential services as well.

Lastly, we have listed areas that will not be operational and may not be visited during the lockdown period.

  • NOTE: This was published on March 26 and new essential goods and services may be added to the list.
  • NOTE: South Africans who need urgent protection may call 10111 of the domestic violence helpline, if applicable, on 0800 150 150 during the lockdown period.
  • NOTE: Also note that victims of domestic violence and those who need to apply for protection orders may still visit their nearest court. 

Eloff is an admitted attorney and the legal advisor of CTP Limited.

Dear reader,

Coronavirus reporting by Kormorant in partnership with Caxton Local Media aims to combat fake news.

As your local news provider, we have the duty of keeping you factually informed on Covid-19 developments. As you may have noticed, mis- and disinformation (also known as “fake news”) is circulating online. Kormorant is determined to filter through the masses of information doing the rounds and to separate truth from untruth in order to keep you adequately informed. Kormorant follows a strict pre-publication fact-checking protocol. A national task team has been established to assist in bringing you credible news reports on Covid-19.

Readers with any comments or queries may contact Kormorant editor Deon van Huizen (deon@kormorant.co.za), National Group Editor Irma Green (irma@caxton.co.za) or Legal Adviser Helene Eloff (helene@caxton.co.za).