Lawyer Helene Eloff explains what the regulations entail.

Activities will slowly be allowed to return, from the current lockdown state, to normal, in an orderly and structured way.

This is according to South Africa’s minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

On Thursday she said, “Expect that, at least every week, new things will come into stream,” during a press briefing by Government’s National Command Council.

The fifth amendment of South Africa’s regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act was published today.

Prior to the latest amendments, South Africa had been in a national state of disaster for 30 days.

Following this declaration in terms of the Disaster Management Act on March 17, the country was placed in lockdown on March 25.

Amendments were published on April 1 and again this morning. Regulations that were subject to a termination date, have been extended. This includes the announcement of a revised essential goods list.

A list of revised essential services appears below.

Dlamini-Zuma and colleagues highlighted certain categories of regulations in which amendments have been made.

  • Transportation of liquor: Liquor may neither be exported nor sold.
  • Ports: Previously, all goods imported from high-risk areas via ports had to be sanitised. “We now know that the virus will not survive after being at sea for a long time. In that event, sanitisation at ports is no longer necessary.” She also indicated that ports will be decongested. “Items ready for export must be exported,” she stated.
  • Children: Children who have two parents not living together, may move from one home to the other subject to the regulations. When transporting these children, a parent must have a court order or parenting plan (as approved by the Family Advocate) in his or her possession that attests to co-parenting. If neither is available, the transporting parent should be able to produce a birth certificate of the child confirming their relations.
  • Eskom and fuel: Coal mines supplying Eskom must be fully operational. Refineries must ramp up their operations to ensure that South Africa does not run out of fuel.
  • Mines: Gwede Mantashe, minister of mineral resources and energy, stated that some mines are in full operation, that some have reduced their operations to maintain infrastructure and that others were closed. “We identified risks in deep mines. If they are left alone for a long time the stability of the ground is tampered with. Gasses accumulate which may cause disaster. Therefore, amendments to the regulations are done with due risk considerations,” he said.
  • Essential goods and services: Both Dlamini-Zuma and minister of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel, indicated that the lists of essential goods and services have been amended. This, they said, will ensure that those who produce essential goods and provide essential services have the tools they need to do so. Services to be added include emergency vehicle repairs and emergency home repairs such as those offered by plumbers and Certain call centre activities have also been declared essential. Hotlines for making debt repayment arrangements are one example.
  • Food: Food products or ingredients may be purchased from providers such as wholesalers, spaza shops and informal traders. However, cooked food is not an essential good as per the regulations.
  • Information and communication technology: Those who provide technological products or services that assist in communication are considered essential.
  • Funerals: the position regarding funerals as set out below remains unchanged.
  • Certificates of registered goods and service providers: According to Minister Patel, the CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) will issue certificates to registered essential goods and service providers that extends the validity of their status as such.

Some questions from the South African media as posed by a variety of journalists have since been answered in writing by the various state departments. The following was provided in a question-and-answer format by South Africa’s Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

The position on funerals is set out in this video.

Helene Eloff shares what you must know before attending a loved one’s funeral.

Posted by Helene Eloff on Thursday, 16 April 2020

  • Question: Can Minister Cele provide any detail on numbers in terms of a breakdown for arrests under lockdown, and does he agree there seems to be a higher focus on arrests than issuing fines? Why is this?
  • Written reply from the Police Ministry: Crime statistics and the analysis thereof will be given by the Police Minister at a later stage. Penalties handed down for criminal offences are determined in line with the laws of the country. In this case, a penalty for contravention of the lockdown regulations is sanctioned as per the Covid-19 Disaster Management Act.
  • Question: To the Police Minister: we’ve obviously seen bottle stores vandalised and looted in recent days and with alcohol not allowed to be transported as regulations stand: will regulations be loosened to allow liquor stores to move alcohol stock to safer storage facilities?
  • Written reply from the Police Ministry: “Movement of liquor is excluded from the list of commodities that may be transported from warehousing to essential services sites.”
  • Question: Can the minister please elaborate on schools? When will they open? Which schools will open first?
  • Written reply from the Basic Education Ministry: “We cannot as yet elaborate on schools as plans are still being ironed out; especially because we have a learner population of 13 million children and the details therefore need to cater to each one of them. The schools will return in phases but the details will be announced by the Minister of Basic Education in due course.”

In this video, we explain how government may trace Covid-19 patients and those with whom they have been in contact.

Lawyer Helene Eloff also explains why this is legal while SA is on lockdown.

Posted by Helene Eloff on Thursday, 16 April 2020

Lastly, the list of essential services as per the regulations was also updated.


On April 3, this publication reported:

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 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 in 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.

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 (, National Group Editor Irma Green ( or Legal Adviser Helene Eloff (

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