Explainer: New amendments to the lockdown regulations

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    JOHANNESBURG – The government has announced a range of amendments to COVID-19 lockdown regulations.The changes, which have now been gazetted, were tabled by the National Command Council on Tuesday before they were adopted by Cabinet on Wednesday.

    The hours-long cabinet meeting was virtual, with ministers joining online.

    Essential services

    Cabinet has decided to allow tradespeople like plumbers, mechanics, electricians and locksmiths to resume work so they can assist with critical repairs and maintenance.

    This has also paved the way for those that house and sell hardware, spares and components to also be allowed to trade.

    Funerals

    Funeral regulations stay the same — no more than 50 people are allowed to attend.

    Those travelling to and from far-away places must still seek permission.

    The government has admitted this is one area proving very difficult to control.

    Justice Minister Ronald Lamola called for a national conversation around the problem.

    Alcohol and cigarettes

    The restrictions on alcohol and cigarette sales remain the same, the government maintained.

    While some liquor associations have been calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the total ban on alcohol sales, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the only alcohol that’s permitted to be transported is the one that is used for commercial use, such as sanitisers, and health and related issues.

    “But the liquor that we drink is not allowed to be exported, in the same way that it’s not allowed to be sold,” she said.​​​​​​​

    SANDF accusations

    The defiance of law enforcement officers is frowned upon, even if some of them are accused of being heavy-handed.

    Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the police have noted reports and are investigating misconduct by their officers.

    “The law must take its course so I won’t comment on the next course of action,” the minister said.

    She appealed to members of the public to comply with the regulations.

    Mapisa-Nqakula said new regulations may be imposed as time goes on, while others may be eased.

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    Source:eNCA