File picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Schools, buildings, taxis face fines for not enforcing wearing of masks

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Jul 25, 2020

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Johannesburg – School principals, public transport operators, employers and building managers face fines for not enforcing the Disaster Management Act regulations making the wearing of cloth masks compulsory.

Durban Chief Magistrate Edmund Bhekumthetho Ngubane on Friday issued a new circular on the admission of guilt fines to be paid by people who contravene the national lockdown regulations for alert level 3, which started on June 1.

“In view of the current alert level 3, which has in one way or another relaxed certain stringent regulations, I have considered after consultation with the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) and other members of the judiciary, the attached determination of admission of guilt fines schedule in the district of Durban,” wrote Ngubane, bringing the circular to the attention of all magistrates.

According to the circular, which is applicable to the district of Durban and its area clusters, drivers and operators of any form of public transport who fail to ensure that passengers wear face masks will be fined R1 000.

Employers, owners and managers of buildings or premises where goods or services are obtained including those owned by the government will face similar fines should they not take reasonable steps to ensure that employees, visitors and customers wear cloth masks.

School principals, managers and owners of early childhood development (ECD) centres will be fined R500 should they not ensure that their facilities are supplied with sufficient masks.

The circular also requires principals, managers and owners of school and ECD centres to provide learners with masks, have children isolated, contact parents, guardians or caregivers and arrange safe transport for children to return home or face R500 fines.

Ngubane has also set fines between R300 to R3 000 for offences ranging from attending or holding night vigils, performing male or female circumcision, opening premises that are closed during the state of national disaster, evictions and failure by long distance buses and taxis to stick to the 70% or less capacity for intra-provincial and permitted inter-provincial travel.

The fines are effective from Friday, according to Ngubane, but those arrested for other offences such as the sale and distribution of alcohol and cigarettes, which is currently illegal, will be arrested and appear before a court as no admission of guilt fines will be issued.

Schools, buildings, taxis face fines for not enforcing wearing of masks

Political Bureau

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