On Sunday night, 12 September 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on South Africa’s ongoing measures to manage the spread of the Covid-19, and government interventions to rebuild the economy.
Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to lockdown adjusted Level 2 with effect from Monday, 13 September 2021 and the new curfew from 11pm to 4am.
Here’s a quick round-up of Ramaphosa’s address and new regulations:
– The hours of curfew will now start at 11pm and end at 4am.
– Non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres will need to close by 10pm. This is to allow their employees and patrons to travel home before the start of the curfew.
– All gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
– Gatherings (religious, political, social) are allowed (maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors).
– Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used.
This includes religious services, political events and social gatherings, as well as restaurants, bars, taverns and similar places.
– The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Friday.
– Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 10pm.
– Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces.
– It remains mandatory for every person to wear a face mask that always covers their nose and mouth when in public spaces.
These measures will be reviewed in two weeks time depending on the state of the pandemic.
In addition to the ongoing vaccination programme, Rmaphosa mentioned that the cabinet will soon provide information on an approach to ‘vaccine passports’, which can be used as evidence of vaccination for various purposes and events.
Ramaphosa also gave an update of the R350 Social Relief of Distress grant:
Since we re-opened applications for the special Social Relief of Distress grant in the first week of August, we have received nearly 13 million applications.
Of these, 8.3 million applications have been approved, and payments have started to these recipients.
Just over 3.7 million applications were declined, mainly because applicants have other identified sources of income or are registered for assistance like UIF and NSFAS.
Around 845,000 applications are still in the validation process.
Along with the other measures we have put in place, this grant is providing critical assistance to unemployed South Africans at this most difficult time.