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Municipalities reject new Covid-19 regulations

Municipalities have complained about the proposed National Health Act regulations. Picture: KZN African News Agency

Municipalities have complained about the proposed National Health Act regulations. Picture: KZN African News Agency

Published Jul 1, 2022

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Johannesburg - The representative body of the country’s 257 councils has called for the new regulations to manage Covid-19 to be changed as they take powers from municipalities.

The SA Local Government Association’s (Salga’s) concerns follow President Cyril Ramaphosa ending the national state of disaster two weeks ago.

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Ramaphosa said going forward the pandemic would be managed in terms of the National Health Act, which was published for public comment on Saturday.

He announced that certain elements of the regulations may remain in place for a limited period for post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation.

”Accordingly, certain transitional provisions will remain in place for 30 days after the termination of the national state of disaster to ensure essential public health precautions and other necessary services are not interrupted while the new regulations in terms of the act come into effect,” Ramaphosa explained.

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However, Salga has complained that the regulations assign municipal powers and functions to traditional leaders when they do not have the technical expertise to perform them.

“These regulations undermine the powers, functions, and legislated responsibilities of municipalities.

In addition, when the regulations assign responsibilities of municipalities to traditional authorities, they do not consider that traditional authorities do not have the technical expertise that should inform the decisions being assigned to them,” the association said in response to the draft regulations.

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Salga demanded that the draft regulations must be amended to rectify this by assigning responsibilities to municipalities where such responsibilities are within the powers, functions and legislated responsibilities of municipalities.

According to the association, the regulations assign responsibilities that are municipal functions to traditional leaders and in some cases they refer to unspecified authorities on matters that are within the powers, functions and legislated delegations of municipalities.

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