Easing into ending of lockdown essential, says Dlamini Zuma as she announces changes to regulations
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Johannesburg - The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has announced changes to the lockdown regulations which will affect transportation, funerals and the movement of children.
Dlamini Zuma, and other members of the National Command Council (NCC) dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, said the changes to the regulations were necessitated by the extension of the lockdown.
The national lockdown was meant to end at midnight on Thursday, but President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an extension which will see the lockdown end on April 30.
South Africa's confirmed cases now stand at 2 506 as of Wednesday and seven more people have died. Testing has reached 90 515.
Dlamini Zuma said many of the regulations remained the same and only a few were tweaked.
On transportation, Dlamini Zuma said they had noticed that people were continuing to transport alcohol during the lockdown. She said the only movement of alcohol would be the one used to manufacture sanitizers. She said the sanitisation of goods that were imported was no longer needed as it has been noted that by time goods travelling by sea arrived at the country's ports, the virus would not be detected.
The minister also said port operators would be allowed to move goods and export them to decrease congestion on the country's ports.
On funerals, Dlamini Zuma said nothing much was changed and only 50 were allowed at a funeral. To travel for a funeral, people would still need to obtain permits from the court or a police station. Those who could not wait for permits were allowed to use affidavits. She said the opening of hotel stays was removed.
After there were many complaints from parents about shared custody of children, Dlamini Zuma said parents could move their children but they would need to have evidence of a birth certificate or a legal letter.
Coal mining operations continue to operate and ensure supply to Eskom during the lockdown. Dlamini Zuma said mines can start operating at 50% and will gradually be increased over time. Conditions for such openings include that mining companies should provide transportation for employees, testing and quarantine facilities.
She said some warehouses could operate, specifically the ones providing essential services assistance. Other industries that will be open are call centres that deal with insurance claims, plumbing services. ICT suppliers who provide a service to ICT technologies would also be allowed to operate.
She said that opening up some sectors was part of the government preparing for an end to the lockdown. She said some regulations would remain the same even after the end of the lockdown.
She said every week changes to regulations will be announced to "ease" into ending the lockdown.