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  • Pam Saxby

FROM THE GOVERNMENT GAZETTE

This was first published on 7 December by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group, in its National Assembly blog




COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER

Regulations

  • A notice declaring the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality a ‘hotspot’ was gazetted on 3 December.

  • On the same day, an amendment to the 1 October Covid-19 lockdown level one disaster management regulations was published:

o prescribing the ‘hotspot’ measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, applicable to the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area and including:

§ an extension to the hours of curfew (from 22:00 to 04:00)

§ a significant reduction in the days on which retail outlets may sell alcohol and the times of day when sales may take place (between 10:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Thursday)

§ a 50% reduction in the number of people allowed to gather outdoors

§ a cap of 100 on the number of people allowed to gather indoors, and

§ prohibitions on post-funeral gatherings, alcohol consumption in public spaces and customary initiation practices.

  • The amended regulations also incorporate changes made on 21 October and 11 November.

  • An explanatory note gazetted on 3 December has confirmed that, elsewhere in SA, lockdown level one measures will continue to apply.

Health

  • A directive issued on 3 December by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize amended one gazetted on 17 July (already amended on 7 August), affecting:

o measures to be taken by prospective visitors to South Africa

o anyone tested Covid-19 positive who is either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic

o the measures to be taken when someone passes away at home

o transporting mortal remains

o leaving South Africa

o the cost of quarantine should this be necessary when entering SA

o self-quarantine and self-isolation protocols

o the designation of quarantine facilities

o repeat testing, and

o the crew of cargo and passenger vessels.


Travel and transport


  • Amendments to measures affecting transport and travel were gazetted on 3 December in ministerial directives on:

o driving licences, by:

§ extending to 31 August 2021 the validity period of various types of licence that have already expired during the State of Disaster or will shortly do so

o entering or exiting SA, by:

§ repealing a requirement for ministerial approval before visiting SA for business purposes (imposed in a directive issued on 30 September)

o air services, by:

§ amending measures in place since 1 October affecting domestic and international air travel, by:

· prescribing stricter on-board protocols, and

· imposing additional obligations on air service operators, and

o seaports, affecting:

§ the protocols to be followed by foreign crew (prescribed in the 1 October directive), and

§ small craft calling at designated commercial ports.


Communications


  • The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has clarified recently gazetted amendments to regulations making radio frequency spectrum temporarily available during the State of Disaster, confirming that:

o the validity of these licences will be extended to 31 March 2021, but only on request

o fees will be charged during the extended period, and that

o licensees will be expected to continue providing free access to designated virtual classroom platforms, regardless of whether they choose to extend the validity of their temporary licences.


Export controls


  • A ministerial directive backdated to 26 November has removed restrictions on the export of certain Covid-19-related goods to:

o specific Southern African countries, and

o in cases where they will be used for clinical trials or have been prescribed for ‘private individuals’.


GENERAL


Data costs


  • The Competition Commission has extended the deadlines for finalising legislative and regulatory amendments recommended in its data service market inquiry report.


Climate change


  • The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has called for comment on proposed methodological guidelines for quantifying forestry industry greenhouse gas emissions.


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