Jail risk for those who break new coronavirus rules in SA
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Cape Town – As the number of Covid-19 infections in the country soared to 150 yesterday, South Africans have been warned that they face jail time if they do not comply with new Disaster Management
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma gazetted regulations to deal with the spread of Covid-19, which include a ban on all public gatherings of more than 100 people.
Those who do not comply with
regulations face up to six months behind bars. They could also be fined.
“Government must, for the duration of the declared National State of Disaster, within its available resources, play an important role in the fight against the virus. The regulations are compiled and released in terms of section 27.
“Existing legislation and contingency arrangements do not adequately provide for the national executive to deal effectively with the disaster. Other special circumstances warrant the
declaration of a National State of Disaster,” Dlamini Zuma said.
The new regulations order taverns, restaurants and clubs to close at 6pm on weekdays, 1pm at the weekend, and to limit their patron numbers to 50 people.
All visits have also been suspended to correctional centres, military detention facilities and Department of Social Development facilities including child- and youth-care centres, shelters and treatment centres.
The regulations also allow for the release of any available resources, including human resources, stores, equipment, ships, aircraft platforms, vehicles and facilities.
In announcing South Africa’s new infection rate yesterday, the Health Ministry said Minister Zweli Mkhize had held an urgent teleconference with the executives of private laboratories that were performing the Covid-19 tests.
“The meeting acknowledged that in order to allow for consistent reporting of cases, all information will be sent to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in real time.
“There will be collaboration and proper compilation of the results; thereafter it will be released to the public. We have stated that the contact details of some of the confirmed cases were not included in the laboratory form.
"This, therefore, put more pressure on the NICD and provinces to track down the private doctor who the patient
consulted, in order to obtain the patient’s details,” the ministry said.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille yesterday said her department had identified 37 state-owned properties that could be used as quarantine sites in various provinces.
“Some of these sites will be available to people in informal settlements where there are no such facilities,” she said.
She also announced that some provincial governments had already availed their properties to be used as quarantine centres.
The Free State has advised about the Trompsburg and the Ladybrand
hospitals, because they were currently being used below capacity.
KwaZulu-Natal has availed a number of sites in Durban North, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay and Port Shepstone.
Limpopo also availed four properties in Waterberg, Vhembe, Capricorn and Mopani district. North West had a number of sites, including four hospitals.
De Lille said R37.2 million would also be spent to install a fence within a month at the Beit Bridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“This to ensure that no undocumented or infected persons cross into the country and vice-versa”.
She said she had invoked emergency procurement procedures for the erection and repairs of the border fence.
“It was identified that a total of 40km of 1.8m-high fence has to be erected, 20km on either side of Beit Bridge.”