Minister of Police is Bheki Cele briefing the media on the regulations relating to the Covid-19 Level 3 restrictions. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Minister of Police is Bheki Cele briefing the media on the regulations relating to the Covid-19 Level 3 restrictions. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Level 3 lockdown regulations: Read the full statement by the Justice Cluster

By Justice Cluster Ministers Time of article published May 28, 2020

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The full statement by government's Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, which is made up of the ministries of Police, Justice and Correctional Service, Home Affairs as well as Defence and Military Veterans, on the regulations governing the level 3 lockdown which begins on June 1.

Fellow citizens

Following the announcement by the State President, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa on 24 May 2020, that the alert level for the whole country be lowered from level 4 to level 3 with effect from 1 June 2020, the JCPS Cluster would like to announce measures to enforce the regulations under level 3. At this level, several sectors of the economy will be reopened and more people will be able to participate in economic activities.  

Furthermore, alert level 3 means the country will be easing restrictions which were implemented under level 4. 

Therefore, the JCPS Cluster will be ensuring that the public adheres to the regulations that have been announced by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).  

Under level 3 the responsibility of preventing the spread of the disease will be in the hands of every member of society. Each person is expected to adhere to all precautionary measures which have been outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which includes social distancing, hand washing, practising cough etiquette, avoiding handshaking and touching, wearing masks in public spaces and staying home when you are ill. 

As we move to level 3, we want to salute the majority of South Africans who have complied with the regulations and heeded the call to stay at home since the start of the lockdown period.  We salute the way these citizens have responded positively and in a responsible manner. We want to thank you all and also ask that you please continue to conduct yourselves in a responsible manner. 

Moving to level 3 requires all of us to continue to adhere to the regulations.

Permits for movement

Movements of persons between provinces, metropolitan areas and districts and hotspots is prohibited except for persons doing so in the course of carrying out work responsibility or performing any service permitted under Alert level 3, provided that such person is in possession of permit issued by the employer. 

Persons travelling for purposes of moving to a new place of residence or caring for an immediate family member, attendance of funerals, transportation of mortal remains, obtaining medical treatment, persons returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility will require permits which can be obtainable from the authority concerned.  SAPS and other law enforcement agencies will continue to monitor local and inter-provincial movements by holding roadblocks on national highways and rotating in suburbs, cities and towns.

Sale, dispensing or transportation of liquor

In terms of the level 3 regulations, licenced liquor traders will be permitted to sell liquor for consumption off-site, therefore the consumption of liquor at the place of sale is prohibited. Liquor will be sold only on Monday to Thursday between 09h00 and 17h00. No sale of liquor on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays, and the sale of liquor may be subject to directions issued by the relevant Minister.  Transportation and distribution of liquor to licensed premises is permitted from Friday, 29 May 2020 subject to directions by relevant Minister(s).  No special or events liquor licences may be approved for the duration of the national state of disaster.

Gatherings

All gatherings are prohibited except for a gathering at faith-based institution, which is limited to 50 persons or less, depending on the size of the place of worship: provided that all health protocols and social distancing measures are being adhered to as provided for in directions that have been issued by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The President announced some hotspots around the country where the infection rate is increasing rapidly.  In these Districts and Metropolitan areas, the JCPS Cluster will conduct patrols, roadblocks, and Vehicle Check Points at the hotspot areas.  The law enforcement officials will enhance the relationship with Community Policing Forums (CPFs), provide expert advice and support to various environments, cordon off identified health hotspots, conducting zero tolerance operations to ensure compliance, utilise the Public Order Police and conduct high density crime prevention duties. 

Deployment of the SANDF during Covid-19 in support of the people

In cooperation with other State Departments in the fight against Covid-19, the South African National Defence Force has deployed regular, reserve and auxiliary services throughout the country in support of the people to combat the spread of the pandemic. The main tasks of the deployed forces include health care services, engineering capabilities and lockdown enforcement elements. The force levels will escalate in accordance with the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases within force level availability of 73 000.

Health care professionals have been deployed to provide health care services to deployed members of the SANDF and these include doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, pharmacist and many other medical disciplines. These have been deployed to provide health care services to the members of the defence force and support the National Department of Health. An additional number of health care professionals from volunteers and members of the Reserve Forces has been added to support the National Department of Health (NDoH).

Scanning teams have been deployed with the SANDF units in all provinces. These Military Health Care Practitioners are performing thermal scans on the population during patrols at vehicle control points and roadblocks. These will assist with early detection of people who might be infected with the COVID-19 virus and in doing so mitigate the spread of the virus.

Primary Health Care Teams have been deployed to all nine provinces to support the NDoH with mass screening and testing initiative. These teams are being deployed in both urban and rural areas and to areas where no infrastructures exits. Mass quarantine sites from military facilities have been identified throughout the province. These facilities can accommodate a total of 2 481 beds are in the following provinces: Kwa-Zulu Natal, Western Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo. Decontamination Teams are placed on standby in Pretoria to conduct industrial scale decontamination and will be deployed to areas as the need arises.

Engineers from the South African National Defence Force are deployed (a team in each Province) and are operational in five (5) Provinces, that is; Thabazimbi, in Limpopo, Hartswater in the Northern Cape and Vrede in the Free State, Legonyane and Fafung Village in the North West and Nkodide area in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The purpose is water purification and the distribution thereof to those areas where there is dire need for drinking water.

Four (4) teams of the Defence Force Engineers are deployed in rural areas of the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal to build bridges in order to assist the population to access services. One bridge in the Eastern Cape has been completed and another is underway in Fini in Queenstown.  In past two weeks, inspection and oversight visits have been taken to Hoedspruit Air Force Base where SAAF trainees undergoing training; Oudtshoorn at the South African Army Infantry School; Western Cape in Simonstown at SA Navy facilities; Saldanha at the Military Academy. There will be ongoing visits to our other facilities in the Gauteng and other provinces to establish the state of readiness as was done with the ones undertaken in the last two weeks.

As you may be aware, the South African borders are still closed for travel except for evacuation of stranded and distressed RSA citizens, evacuation of foreign nationals by respective foreign Missions and movement of medical-ill treatment cases and transportation of goods to and from neighbouring states. 

Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school will be allowed to enter our borders with a special permit subject to all COVID-19 regulations on transport and health.

During level 3, Home Affairs is offering these essential services, registration of births, reissue of birth certificates, late registration of birth (by appointment), marriage services, death certificates, issuing temporary ID certificates, collection of IDs applied for prior to the lockdown, and the issuing of passports only for people involved in the cross border transportation of essential goods and medicines.

The Inspectorate, which forms part of coordinated security operations, will ensure that any undocumented or illegal nationals who are detained will be subject to deportation.

No visa or permitting functions will be open to the public in South Africa and at missions abroad during level 3.

Asylum and refugee services will remain closed. All asylum seeker permits lawfully issued which have expired or are to expire during the period of the national state of disaster are deemed to have been extended up to and including 31 July 2020.

In terms of the administration of justice, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) will issue directives for operations of the Courts during level 3.  The Department will prioritize urgent cases relating to corruption, sexual offences, Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), serious violent crimes, robbery, murder, assault and violation of Covid-19 Regulations for speedy resolution.  Where appropriate, the Courts will use audio-visual communication, such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing to conclude urgent cases. All cases which are not urgent will be postponed.

Access to courts will be limited to immediate complainants and judicial officers. All those entering the premises will be subjected to temperature screening and will be required to sanitize their hands and wear masks.

During the disaster period, the JCPS Cluster has received several allegations related to the corruption of Covd-19 relief efforts earmarked for poor communities. In response to these allegations, the Cluster has developed a collaboration framework which will ensure prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution and recovery of stolen assets and funds. Law enforcement officials have established an interim structure that will address all allegations of corruption and will ensure that those who are charged, face prosecution. 

There is a specific focus on Covid-19 related corruption matters in the courts for efficient resolution and these are listed as a priority in the Directions issued by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, along with urgent cases including domestic violence and others that the courts may consider to be in the interest of justice to address speedily.

In conclusion, the JCPS Cluster would like to appeal to the public to report any misconduct displayed by law enforcement officials during this time. 

Should the public witness or experience any form of torture, cruelty, inhumane and/or degrading treatment and/or punishment, committed by law enforcement members including poor service delivery regarding police response, investigations and police negligence, to report such at the nearest police station or at the National Service Complaints Centre on the toll-free number 0800 333 177 or the following email addresses:  [email protected] or [email protected]

I thank you. 

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