President Ramaphosa announces COVID 19 management stages as infection rate and deaths increase


You may be able to buy cigarettes next Friday when South Africa’s stringent lockdown regulations ease, but alcohol and takeaway food will still be off-limits, according to a 27-page document that spells out how lockdown will end in the country.

In addition, you will not be able to move between provinces.

In his address to the nation last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined five stages of how government would be managing the COVID 19 spread going forward.

Level 5 – the most stringent of the levels which the country is currently under will be eased to Level 4 on May 1 which will see certain sectors of the economy resume.

However, it does not permit gatherings of more than 10 people outside of a workplace while passengers on all modes of transport must wear a cloth mask to be allowed entry into the vehicle. Hand sanitisers must be made available and all passengers must sanitise their hands before embarking.

While Ramaphosa gave smokers some relief by saying that tobacco will go on sale from May 1, under the regulations of level 4, alcohol will not be sold as this is only permitted under level 3.

Ramaphosa, however, left the door open to the liquor industry – and other industries –  to make representations to the government before the new regulations are promulgated.

Under level 4 coronavirus lockdown – sectors permitted to work are all essential services, plus food retail stores already permitted to be open permitted may sell their full line of products within the existing stock.

In addition, all agriculture (horticulture, export agriculture including wool and wine, floriculture and horticulture, and related processing) may operate as well as Forestry, pulp and paper.

Mining; open cast mines can operate at 100% capacity and all other mines at 50% while all financial and professional services may operate.

Global business services for export markets will also go back to work along with postal and telecommunications services.

Fibre optic and IT services. Formal waste recycling (glass, plastic, paper and metal) too.

Ramaphosa said on Thursday that the relevant ministers would provide a detailed briefing on the classification of industries and how each is affected at each level.

Transport services that can operate will include bus services, taxi services, e-hailing and private motor vehicles may operate at all times of the day, with limitations on vehicle capacity and stringent hygiene requirements.

However, in terms of movement, people cannot move between provinces except for the transportation of goods and exceptional circumstances (e.g. funerals).

No International travel except the repatriation of South African citizens will be allowed.

Restrictions that will remain in place after the national lockdown, and regardless of the level of alert at any given time:

  • Sit-in restaurants and hotels
  • Bars and shebeens
  • Conference and convention centres
  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, and concerts
  • Sporting events
  • Religious, cultural and social gatherings
  • No gatherings of more than 10 people outside of a workplace will be permitted.
  • Passengers on all modes of transport must wear a cloth mask to be allowed entry into the vehicle.
  • Hand sanitisers must be made available, and all passengers must sanitise their hands before entering.
  • Public transport vehicles must be sanitised on a daily basis.

President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the nation