24 March 2020
Union Buildings, Tshwane
My fellow South Africans,
It is a week since we declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster and announced a package of extraordinary measures to combat this grave public health emergency.
The response of the South African people to this crisis has been remarkable. Millions of our people have understood the gravity of the situation.
Most South Africans have accepted the restrictions that have been placed on their lives and have taken responsibility for changing their behaviour.
I am heartened that every sector of society has been mobilised and has accepted the role that it needs to play.
From religious leaders to sporting associations, from political parties to business people, from trade unions to traditional leaders, from NGOs to public servants, every part of our society has come forward to confront this challenge.
Many have had to make difficult choices and sacrifices, but all have been determined that these choices and sacrifices are absolutely necessary if our country is to emerge stronger from this disaster.
Over the past week, South Africans have demonstrated their determination, their sense of purpose, their sense of community and their sense of responsibility.
For this, we salute you and we thank you.
On behalf of the nation, I would also like to thank the health workers, our doctors, nurses and paramedics who are on the frontline of the pandemic, our teachers, border officials, police and traffic officers and all the other people who have been leading our response.
Since the national state of disaster was declared, we have put in place a range of regulations and directives.
These regulations have restricted international travel, prohibited gatherings of more than 100 people, closed schools and other educational institutions and restricted the sale of alcohol after 6pm.
We reiterate that the most effective way to prevent infection is through basic changes in individual behaviour and hygiene.
We are therefore once more calling on everyone to:
- wash hands frequently with hand sanitisers or soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- cover our nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow;
- avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
Everyone must do everything within their means to avoid contact with other people. Staying at home, avoiding public places and cancelling all social activities is the preferred best defence against the virus.
Over the past week, as we have been implementing these measures, the global crisis has deepened.
When I addressed the nation last Sunday there were over 160,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide.
Today, there are over 340,000 confirmed cases across the world.
In South Africa, the number of confirmed cases has increased six-fold in just eight days from 61 cases to 402 cases.
This number will continue to rise.
It is clear from the development of the disease in other countries and from our own modelling that immediate, swift and extraordinary action is required if we are to prevent a human catastrophe of enormous proportions in our country.
Our fundamental task at this moment is to contain the spread of the disease.
I am concerned that a rapid rise in infections will stretch our health services beyond what we can manage and many people will not be able to access the care they need.
We must therefore do everything within our means to reduce the overall number of infections and to delay the spread of infection over a longer period – what is known as flattening the curve of infections.
It is essential that every person in this country adheres strictly – and without exception – to the regulations that have already been put in place and to the measures that I am going to announce this evening.
Our analysis of the progress of the epidemic informs us that we need to urgently and dramatically escalate our response.
The next few days are crucial.
Without decisive action, the number of people infected will rapidly increase from a few hundred to tens of thousands, and within a few weeks to hundreds of thousands.
This is extremely dangerous for a population like ours, with a large number of people with suppressed immunity because of HIV and TB, and high levels of poverty and malnutrition.
We have learnt a great deal from the experiences of other countries.
Those countries that have acted swiftly and dramatically have been far more effective in controlling the spread of the disease.
As a consequence, the National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March.
This is a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
While this measure will have a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and on our economy, the human cost of delaying this action would be far, far greater.
The nation-wide lockdown will be enacted in terms of the Disaster Management Act and will entail the following:
- From midnight on Thursday 26 March until midnight on Thursday 16 April, all South Africans will have to stay at home.
- The categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown are the following: health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic.
It will also include those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods, essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and the provision of medical and hygiene products. A full list of essential personnel will be published.
- Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant.
- Temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards will be identified for homeless people. Sites are also being identified for quarantine and self- isolation for people who cannot self-isolate at home.
- All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers.
Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open.
We will publish a full list of the categories of businesses that should remain open. Companies whose operations require continuous processes such as furnaces, underground mine operations will be required to make arrangements for care and maintenance to avoid damage to their continuous operations.
Firms that are able to continue their operations remotely should do so.
- Provision will be made for essential transport services to continue, including transport for essential staff and for patients who need to be managed elsewhere.
The nation-wide lockdown is necessary to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission across society.
I have accordingly directed the South African National Defence Force be deployed to support the South African Police Service in ensuring that the measures we are announcing are implemented.
This nationwide lockdown will be accompanied by a public health management programme which will significantly increase screening, testing, contact tracing and medical management.
Community health teams will focus on expanding screening and testing where people live, focusing first on high density and high-risk areas.
To ensure that hospitals are not overwhelmed, a system will be put in place for ‘centralised patient management’ for severe cases and ‘decentralised primary care’ for mild cases.
Emergency water supplies – using water storage tanks, water tankers, boreholes and communal standpipes – are being provided to informal settlements and rural areas.
A number of additional measures will be implemented with immediate effect to strengthen prevention measures. Some of those measures are that:
- South African citizens and residents arriving from high-risk countries will automatically be placed under quarantine for 14 days.
- Non-South Africans arriving on flights from high-risk countries we prohibited a week ago will be turned back.
- International flights to Lanseria Airport will be temporarily suspended.
- International travellers who arrived in South Africa after 9 March 2020 from high- risk countries will be confined to their hotels until they have completed a 14-day period of quarantine.
Fellow South Africans,
Our country finds itself confronted not only by a virus that has infected more than a quarter of a million people across the globe, but also by the prospects of a very deep economic recession that will cause businesses to close and many people to lose their jobs.
Therefore, as we marshal our every resource and our every energy to fight this epidemic, working together with business, we are putting in place measures to mitigate the economic impact both of this disease and of our economic response to it.
We are today announcing a set of interventions that will help to cushion our society from these economic difficulties.
This is the first phase of the economic response, and further measures are under consideration and will be deployed as needed.
These interventions are quick and targeted.
Firstly, we are supporting the vulnerable.
- Following consultation with social partners, we have set up a Solidarity Fund, which South African businesses, organisations and individuals, and members of the international community, can contribute to.
The Fund will focus efforts to combat the spread of the virus, help us to track the spread, care for those who are ill and support those whose lives are disrupted.
The Fund will complement what we are doing in the public sector.
I am pleased to announce that this Fund will be chaired by Ms Gloria Serobe and the deputy Chairperson is Mr Adrian Enthoven.
The Fund has a website – www.solidarityfund.co.za – and you can begin to deposit monies into the account tonight.
The Fund will be administered by a reputable team of people, drawn from financial institutions, accounting firms and government.
It will fully account for every cent contributed and will publish the details on the website.
It will have a board of eminent South Africans to ensure proper governance.
To get things moving, Government is providing seed capital of R150 million and the private sector has already pledged to support this fund with financial contributions in the coming period.
We will be spending money to save lives and to support the economy.
In this regard, we must applaud the commitment made in this time of crisis by the Rupert and Oppenheimer families of R1 billion each to assist small businesses and their employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
- We are concerned that there are a number of businesses that are selling certain goods at excessively high prices. This cannot be allowed.
Regulations have been put in place to prohibit unjustified price hikes, to ensure shops maintain adequate stocks of basic goods and to prevent people from ‘panic buying’.
It is important for all South Africans to understand that the supply of goods remains continuous and supply chains remain intact.
Government has had discussions with manufacturers and distributors of basic necessities, who have indicated that there will be a continuous supply of these goods. There is therefore no need for stockpiling of any items.
- A safety net is being developed to support persons in the informal sector, where most businesses will suffer as a result of this shutdown. More details will be announced as soon as we have completed the work of assistance measures that will be put in place.
- To alleviate congestion at payment points, old age pensions and disability grants will be available for collection from 30 and 31 March 2020, while other categories of grants will be available for collection from 01 April 2020.
All channels for access will remain open, including ATMs, retail point of sale devices, Post Offices and cash pay points.
Secondly, we are going to support people whose livelihoods will be affected.
- We are in consultation on a proposal for a special dispensation for companies that are in distress because of COVID-19. Through this proposal employees will receive wage payment through the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme, which will enable companies to pay employees directly during this period and avoid retrenchment.
- Any employee who falls ill through exposure at their workplace will be paid through the Compensation Fund.
- Commercial banks have been exempted from provisions of the Competition Act to enable them to develop common approaches to debt relief and other necessary measures.
We have met with all the major banks and expect that most banks will put measures in place within the next few days.
- Many large companies that are currently closed have accepted their responsibility to pay workers affected. We call on larger businesses in particular to take care of their workers during this period.
- In the event that it becomes necessary, we will utilise the reserves within the UIF system to extend support to those workers in SMEs and other vulnerable firms who are faced with loss of income and whose companies are unable to provide support. Details of these will be made available within the next few days.
Thirdly, we are assisting businesses that may be in distress.
- Using the tax system, we will provide a tax subsidy of up to R500 per month for the next four months for those private sector employees earning below R6,500 under the Employment Tax Incentive. This will help over 4 million workers.
- The South African Revenue Service will also work towards accelerating the payment of employment tax incentive reimbursements from twice a year to monthly to get cash into the hands of compliant employers as soon as possible.
- Tax compliant businesses with a turnover of less than R50 million will be allowed to delay 20% of their pay-as-you-earn liabilities over the next four months and a portion of their provisional corporate income tax payments without penalties or interest over the next six months. This intervention is expected to assist over 75 000 small and medium-term enterprises.
- We are exploring the temporary reduction of employer and employee contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund and employer contributions to the Skill Development Fund.
- The Department of Small Business Development has made over R500 million available immediately to assist small and medium enterprises that are in distress through a simplified application process.
- The Industrial Development Corporation has put a package together with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition of more than R3 billion for industrial funding to address the situation of vulnerable firms and to fast-track financing for companies critical to our efforts to fight the virus and its economic impact.
- The Department of Tourism has made an additional R200 million available to assist SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions.
I want to make it clear that we expect all South Africans to act in the interest of the South African nation and not in their own selfish interests.
We will therefore act very strongly against any attempts at corruption and profiteering from this crisis.
I have directed that special units of the NPA be put together to act immediately and arrest those against who we find evidence of corruption.
We will work with the judiciary to expedite cases against implicated persons and make sure the guilty go to jail.
South Africa has a safe, sound, well-regulated and resilient financial sector. Since the global financial crisis, we have taken steps to strengthen the banking system, including increasing capital, improving liquidity and reducing leverage.
With a strong financial sector and deep and liquid domestic capital markets, we have the space to provide support to the real economy.
We can make sure money flows to firms and households. We can ensure that our markets are efficient.
Last week, in line with its Constitutional mandate, the South African Reserve Bank cut the repo rate by 100 basis point. This will provide relief to consumers and businesses.
The South African Reserve Bank has also proactively provided additional liquidity to the financial system.
The Governor has assured me that the Bank is ready to do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure the financial sector operates well during this pandemic.
The banking system will remain open, the JSE will continue to function, the national payment system will continue to operate and the Reserve Bank and the commercial banks will ensure that bank notes and coins remain available.
The action we are taking now will have lasting economic costs.
But we are convinced that the cost of not acting now would be far greater.
We will prioritise the lives and livelihoods of our people above all else, and will use all of the measures that are within our power to protect them from the economic consequences of this pandemic.
In the days, weeks and months ahead our resolve, our resourcefulness and our unity as a nation will be tested as never before.
I call on all of us, one and all, to play our part.
To be courageous, to be patient, and above all, to show compassion. Let us never despair.
For we are a nation at one, and we will surely prevail. May God protect our people.
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.
I thank you.
23 March 2020
Dear Fellow South African,
There comes a time in the affairs of a country when, in the face of the most formidable of challenges, its very existence as a nation is put to the test.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread at a relentless pace across the globe. As nations of the world we find ourselves in the same fight: to contain the virus, to protect the lives of our people, and to fortify our economies against the inevitable disruption to manufacturing, productivity, growth and employment.
It has been a week since we declared a National State of Disaster as an urgent response to the outbreak and put in place necessary containment measures.
These measures relate to the prohibition of gatherings of more than 100 people, restrictions on people entering the country, the closure of schools, the sale of alcohol and emergency procurement procedures in support of the fight against COVID-19.
The Department of Health, supported by the entire government communications machinery, has led efforts to raise awareness among the general public around screening and detection, prevention, hygiene control and the importance of social distancing.
The manner in which all South Africans have taken charge of not just their own personal health but the health of those around them has been exemplary and heartening. Everywhere we see signs of behavioural change as the nation rallies behind infection control measures.
From filling stations to taxi ranks, from spazas to restaurants, South Africans fully understand the gravity of the situation. Hand-washing is being practiced and hand sanitiser is available in stores and other retail spaces. People are observing the rules restricting large public gatherings. Businesses and workplaces are complying with the regulations in the best interests of their customers and employees.
Last week representatives from all the political parties in Parliament stood united on a public platform to declare their support for the national effort to combat the pandemic. At the same time, they offered practical and workable suggestions on how we can mitigate its impact on lives and livelihoods.
In the same week, religious leaders representing a multiplicity of faiths and denominations also affirmed their support, taking bold and far-reaching decisions to contain the spread of the virus in churches, temples, mosques and synagogues. They did so fully understanding that no matter how sensitive and difficult these decisions are, the sanctity of life must be preserved.
Corporate South Africa and the business community have stepped up, affirming their support for the emergency measures and regulations, and opening channels of engagement around the economic impact of COVID-19. Yesterday, I met with representatives of the business community to discuss measures we need to take together to combat the pandemic and address its economic impact.
Elsewhere, large retailers have issued directives restricting the purchase quantities of in-demand items to curtail so-called ‘panic buying’. This measure was a laudable effort to protect the rights of ordinary South Africans, but most especially the poor. It is also a welcome sign that South African business will not engage in unscrupulous profiteering from a national disaster.
This week I will be meeting with different arms of the state, trade unions, traditional leaders, civil society formations and other sectors. I have no doubt that they too are already mobilised and united behind the national effort.
What we are witnessing is social solidarity in action, a defining feature of our nationhood. At times of crisis such as this one, it would be easy to surrender to the impulses of opportunism, greed and naked self-interest. History bears witness to the dark side of human nature that can be exposed when fear and panic takes hold.
But as the South African nation we are standing firm. As we navigate our way through the difficult times that lie ahead, we must continue in the spirit of empathy and selflessness and move with unity of purpose. The social compacts of which I have spoken are needed now as never before. Of these, the social compact between citizens and their government is the most important of all.
I am a firm believer in the people. I also believe, as Abraham Lincoln once said, that “if given the truth, [the people] can be depended upon to meet any national crisis”.
We know the truth and what is to be done. We have to contain the spread of the virus. We have to ensure those who need help get it. We have to observe the highest standards of hygiene and practice social distancing.
Our success relies on the effort and energies of every citizen and their commitment to help and assist others.
This crisis will not debilitate our nation. In how we have responded, we have affirmed the true character of our nationhood. It is strong, it is resilient and, above all, it is rooted in solidarity.
It is these attributes of our national character that won us our democracy and it is what will ensure our victory over this pandemic.
With best wishes,
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa is issuing this Travel Advisory in light of the announcement on 16 March 2020 by the Government declaring a State of National Disaster. The State of National Disaster entails that restrictions on entry, movement and exit will be prescribed in Regulations to be issued by the responsible Ministers. As high-and medium-risk countries are identified and the status of countries changes, Travel Alerts will be issued to communicate such changes and the measures applicable.
SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS
South African citizens planning to travel or transit through the Italian Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Spain, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the French Republic, the Swiss Confederation and the People’s Republic of China presently identified as high risk countries, as well as the European Union, should refrain from doing so. This includes all forms of travel to or through identified highrisk countries.
South African citizens are also to refrain from traveling on cruise ships due to the inherent risks involved in such travel as recent experiences haveshown. This is effective immediately, until further notice. Non-essential travel to other countries should also be cancelled or postponed.
South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa. South African citizens should be aware that there are health risks when they travel and should check the travel and health notices for COVID-19 at their destinations. Increased health screening measures at ports of entry for international destinations, which may include entry requirements, border closures, flight suspensions and quarantines, can be expected.
South African citizens should contact the South African Mission/Consulate in the country of their destination, to inform them of their presence in the country andprovide them with information such as contact details, duration of stay, etc.
All entry, regardless of compliance with visa requirements, of foreign travellers with ordinary passports, travelling from or transiting through high-risk countries presently identified as the Italian Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Spain, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the French Republic, the Swiss Confederation and the People’s Republic of China is prohibited until further notice.
No applications for visas by foreign travellers from high-risk countries will be approved. Visas already issued are revoked with immediate effect for travellers that have not yet entered South Africa. Visa waiver agreements with countries identified by the Department of Health as high- and medium-risk will be suspended from dates that will be advised through Travel Alerts.
Any foreign national who has visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa.
Any foreign national affected by these travel restrictions who needs to travel to South Africa for emergency or compelling reasons may contact the nearest South African mission or consulate to apply for a visa. Such visa applications will be considered on merit and on a case-by-case basis.
The above restrictions exclude holders of diplomatic passports and travel documents issued by International organisations as well as their family members accredited to the Republic of South Africa, and holders of official/servicepassports. The travel restrictions will also not apply to the crew members of aircraft and cargo ships, as well as cross border rail and road transportation workers. However, such travellers will be subjected to medical screening and if required, can be isolated or quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.
ALL INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS
All international travellers, including South African citizens, entering South Africa will be required to complete and submit the prescribed Health Form and hand it to Health officials and Immigration officers upon arrival.
All travellers will be subjected to medical screening for COVID-19 upon entering South Africa and if required, can be isolated or quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. Over and above the normal immigration requirements, entry into South Africa is subject to a passenger’s cooperation with officials conducting tests.
Travellers from medium-risk countries as identified by the South AfricanDepartment of Health will be required to undergo high intensity screening. All travellers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since 15 February 2020 will be required to present themselves for testing.
South Africa has placed restrictions on attendance of international meetings. All organisers or attendees of international meetings are strongly advised to confirm whether attendance will be permitted before travelling to South Africa.
More information is available on the following links regarding precautionary measures to be taken to halt the spread of COVID-19:
World Health Organisation:
Department of Health, South Africa:
For any inquiries related to this Travel Advisory, contact the 24 hours operations centre of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation at +27 12 351 1000
Information is also available on the website of the Department at www.dirco.gov.za.
ISSUED BY THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
17 March 2020
MINISTER NKOSAZANA DLAMINI ZUMA : GAZETTED REGULATIONS AS PART OF GOVERNEMENT’S INTERVENTION MEASURES ON COVID-19 CORNAVIRUS
Statement of the IMC on the Gazetted Regulations on the state of disaster Hon. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Members of the Media
South Africans at large
As you are aware, recently the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) better known as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. To date it has infected in excess of 213 000 people but despite having caused the death of more than 8 727 people world-wide, around 84 000 people have already recovered from the disease. In South Africa, we have thus far identified 150 cases which are receiving treatment at home or in hospital, depending on the severity of their symptoms.
This pandemic requires urgent action and on 15 March 2020, following a special Cabinet meeting and the classification of the pandemic as a national disaster, President announced that declared national state of disaster in terms of the National Disaster Management Act, 2002. The President in his address to the nation later that night called for an extraordinary response and announced a number of measures to limit contact between persons who may be infected and those that are not infected in order to reduce the spread of the disease using social distancing and hygiene control.
Some of these measures were put into operation already through existing legislative measures such as imposing a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries; the cancellation of visas; the issuance of travel advisories and alert; travellers undergoing high intensity screening; the closure of 35 land, and 2 sea ports of entry; the prohibition of non-essential travel for all spheres of government outside of the Republic etc.
Notwithstanding this, some of the measures announced by the President, could only be brought to bear through Regulations made under the declaration of a state of disaster in terms of section 27 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. Since Sunday, legal representatives of the respective organs of state that plays a key role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic have been at work to draft the regulations needed to further put into operation measures announced by the President.
These regulations are a rule of order which have the force of law, they are prescribed in terms of the Disaster Management Act and, they enable departments to direct certain actions under matters which fall within their legislative mandate.
Furthermore, these regulations are designed to create a regulatory framework for government to respond to the COVID-19 virus in an integrated and co-ordinated manner.
They enable us as government to focus on preventing a disaster and where applicable reduce the risk of disasters, they activate governments capacity emergency preparedness regime, which must be rapid and effective.
I am therefore pleased to present these Regulations, published in Government Gazette No. 43107 on 18 March 2020, to you and would like to highlight some key aspects thereof.
Regulation 1 sets out the “Definitions” of the terms used in the Regulations;
Regulation 2 deals with the “Release of resources” by the Department of Defence, national organs of state, and institutions within national, provincial and local government. Means of dealing with any donor funding received to assist with the national state of disaster is also addressed.
Regulation 3 deals with the “prevention and prohibition of gatherings”. In this case, a gathering of 100 people is prohibited. The assembly of more than 50 persons at premises where liquor is sold and consumed is also prohibited. The Regulation also makes provision for powers of an enforcement officer to disperse a gathering or in some cases to arrest and detain the organiser of a gathering.
Regulation 4 deals with the “Refusal of medical examination, prophylaxis, treatment, isolation and quarantine”. This regulation makes provision for the unlikely scenario where a person refuses to (self) quarantine or (self) isolate. The person may then be placed in isolation or quarantine for a period of 48 hours, as the case may be, pending a warrant being issued by a magistrate, on application by an enforcement officer, to perform the medical examination of a suspected or confirmed case.
Regulation 5 deals with the identification and availing “Places of quarantine and isolation” by the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Members of the Executive Council in the provinces and the accounting officers of municipalities.
Regulation 6 deals with the “Closure of schools and partial care facilities” from 18 March 2020 until 15 April 2020, which period may be extended for the duration of the national state of disaster by the cabinet member responsible.
Regulation 7 deals with the Suspension of visits for 30 days to Correctional Centres; Remand Detention Facilities; Holding Cells; Military Detention Facilities; and Department of Social Development facilities, including Child and Youth Care Centres, shelters, One Stop Centres, and Treatment Centres, which period may be extended for any period, but not beyond the duration of the national state of disaster by the cabinet member responsible.
Regulation 8 deals with the “Limitation on the sale, dispensing or transportation of liquor”. In this case all on-consumption premises selling liquor, including taverns, restaurants and clubs, must be closed with immediate effect, or must accommodate no more than 50 persons at any time: Provided that adequate space is available and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and limitation of exposure to persons with COVID-19, are adhered to. Its also notable that no special or events liquor licenses will be considered for approval during the duration of the national state of disaster. Establishments will also close earlier between 18:00 and 09:00 the next morning on weekdays and Saturdays; and from 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays.
Regulation 9 deals with the “Emergency Procurement Procedures” in line with financial management legislation, regulations and instructions.
Regulation 10 deals with the “Authority to issue directions”. In this regard I have authorised the Ministers of Health; Justice and Correctional Services; Basic and Higher Education; Police; Social Development; Trade and Industry; Transport to issue directions where needed to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in matters falling within their respective mandates.
Regulation 11 deals with “Offences and penalties” for a person when found liable on conviction, to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
Regulation 12 deals with the Commencement of the Regulations, which came into operation on 18 March 2020.
I believe that though these regulations and those actions already taken under existing legislation, the extraordinary measures announced by the President, and most importantly through the concerted effort made already by the public, the private sector and society at large we have taken a giant step forward in our efforts in bringing the spread of this disease under control. Notwithstanding this, should circumstances warrant it, I would make any additional regulations and or directions as may be needed to achieve our common goal of bringing this disease under control.
I therefore remain confident that through the implementation and enforcement of these regulations, through ongoing mass communication and with the support of our communities, by working together, we can mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our economy and our communities.
I thank you!
Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance-19 March 2020
08 March 2020
Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,
Premier of the Free State, Ms Sefora Sisi Ntombela,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Premiers of our Provinces present,
Speaker of the National Assembly,
Leaders of various political parties and organizations
President of the ANC Women’s League, Ms Bathabile Dlamini and all Officials of the Women’s League present Fellow South Africans,
It is my privilege to be here in the Free State as we join the global community in observing International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to assess how far we have come in advancing gender equality across all spheres of society, and on what more needs to be done to give effect to the rights of women and girls worldwide.
It is also a time when we give recognition to women who have excelled in various spheres, many of whom are here with us today.
We recognise that our peace, stability and prosperity rests on our enduring commitment to the constitutionally guaranteed right to equality between men and women, between black and white, and indeed between all our citizens.
This year we mark a number of milestones in the continental and global fight for gender justice.
Firstly, it is the end of the Decade of African Women (2010-2020), whose purpose was to re-invigorate commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Secondly, it is the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women that acknowledges the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and affirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and in post-conflict reconstruction.
Thirdly, it is 25 years since 17,000 delegates representing 189 countries met in the Chinese capital, Beijing at the landmark Fourth UN World Conference on Women.
Among them was a delegation from South Africa, having held our first democratic elections just the year before.
The adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action changed the trajectory for the empowerment of women worldwide.
South Africa signed both the Declaration and Platform for Action the same year, and committed to five-yearly reviews of our progress in key areas such as women and education and training, gender-based violence, women’s rights, women and the economy, and women in power and decision making.
In the same year, 1995, one of the first legislative acts of the first democratic Parliament was to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
As noted in our most recent five-year report submitted to the UN last year, we have made significant advances in improving the lives of our country’s women in the social, political and economic spheres, particularly with regards to their rights and representation.
We have implemented policies and programmes to give practical expression to the rights of women and girls to education, to reproductive health care, to basic services, and to social support.
Women are equitably represented in government.
Last year we achieved 50/50 parity in Cabinet for the first time, and 47% of MPs are women.
We continue to strive to ensure sufficient gender representation in key sectors such as the judiciary and the armed forces, and are actively engaging with the private sector to ensure women are better represented in positions of management.
We have a raft of gender-responsive laws around reproductive health, sexual orientation, access to justice, customary law, and protection against domestic and sexual violence.
As our country report notes, “the nature of vulnerability that women face in 2019 is markedly different to the vulnerability women faced in 1994.”
Fellow South Africans,
We must acknowledge that despite our progressive laws, vast discrepancies exist between the protection the laws offer and their actual implementation.
We must further acknowledge that violence against women and the stark reality that women continue to bear the brunt of poverty undermine our efforts to meet the commitments we made in Beijing.
South Africa is not unique in this regard.
The global consensus is that despite our progress, real change has been agonisingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world.
The sad reality is that today not a single country can claim to have achieved complete gender equality.
Women and girls continue to be undervalued; they work more and earn less and have fewer choices; and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces.
That is why providing women with the necessary support to enable them to become financially independent is critical.
Not just because their economic inclusion is central to any country’s development, but also because economic marginalisation and economic dependency leaves women vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
This year South Africa assumed the chairship of the African Union.
We aim to use our chairship to bring women into the mainstream of economic activity and to drive a concerted programme of action to stamp out gender-based violence across the continent.
Specific actions have been identified and we hope to secure the cooperation of other member states, and to work in partnership with civil society, labour and the private sector.
We will urge all AU member states to devote adequate budgetary allocations for women’s empowerment, to set aside at least 30% of all government procurement for women-owned businesses, to reduce barriers to financial services for women-owned businesses, and to pass legislation that ensures equal work for equal pay.
We will leverage the continent’s ambitions towards the industrialisation and digitisation of Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Area to benefit women.
In South Africa, we continue to work to broaden the participation of women in our economy.
We have introduced the SheTradesZA platform to assist women-owned businesses to participate in global value chains and markets.
Over the next five years, the Industrial Development Corporation has set a target of providing R10 billion of government and partner funding for women-empowered businesses.
To create a larger market for small businesses, we also plan to designate 1,000 locally produced products that must be procured from SMMEs.
The Procurement Bill will soon be presented to Parliament as part of our efforts to empower black and emerging businesses and advance radical economic transformation.
With respect to gender-based violence, we want to ensure that there is a concerted, visible and consistent global transformative advocacy campaign to prevent violence against women and children.
We are urging all AU member states to ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention on Violence and Harassment in the workplace by the end of 2021.
We are advocating the adoption of an AU Convention on Violence against Women.
We are also promoting the repeal of discriminatory laws within five years and ensuring that laws relating to women are in line with all regional and global resolutions and protocols.
As AU member states we need to commit to implementing an essential services package as a national standard for responding to gender-based violence, with an emphasis on the need for high-quality police response.
In line with this, we must move with renewed determination to overcome our national challenges.
In South Africa, women and girls continue to be subjected to extreme levels of rape, sexual offences, femicide, domestic violence and intimate partner violence.
The recent case of eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk whose body was discovered in a storm water drain in Worcester drives home the cold reality that women and children are dying daily, at the hands of men, known and unknown by the victim.
We are implementing an Emergency Response Plan and have reprioritised R1.6 billion to support it until the end of the current financial year.
Working with partners in civil society, we are focusing on closing the legislative and other loopholes that result in perpetrators of gender-based violence being released where they reoffend.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In delivering our acceptance speech at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last month, I recalled the words of Egyptian women’s rights activist Nawal el Saadawi, that women are half the society; you cannot have a revolution without women, and you cannot have democracy without women.
On this International Women’s Day let us work together to ensure that the interests of women are mainstreamed, that their rights are protected and enforced, and that they are empowered to participate in economic life and have a share in our nation’s wealth and prosperity.
I wish all the women of South Africa, of the continent and of the world a happy International Women’s Day!
I thank you.