Cellphone 'spying' to cigarette sales in the Western Cape: latest on the lockdown rules

03 April 2020 - 14:48 By Unathi Nkanjeni
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Government gazettes have announced revised amendments on the nationwide lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise.

On Thursday, ministers representing the Covid-19 National Command Council updated the nation on the revised regulations regarding the lockdown.

SA has 1,462 confirmed cases with five recorded deaths. Two other deaths are yet to be confirmed.

Here are interesting takes from the address.

Movement a major issue

Co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma outlined the revised rules, which limits the number of people who can attend funerals to 50.

“Movement insofar as funerals are concerned is being clarified in the amendment regulations.

“The amendments allow certain individuals to move between provinces and metropolitan and district areas for purposes of transporting a body for burial purposes.” — Dlamini-Zuma

“The amendment also limits the individuals who are permitted to travel to funerals.

“The regulation now outlines a process for persons who wish to travel between provinces, or between metropolitan and district areas to attend a burial or cremation to obtain a permit.” — Dlamini-Zuma

Cellphone signals to trace and not spy

Communication minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said the government would use cellphone towers to trace people who have been in contact with those who tested positive for Covid-19.

“We do respect that every citizen has a right to privacy, but in situations like these individual rights do not supersede the country's rights.

“The most important critical right is ensuring the safety of South Africans so that the spread of [the virus] doesn't continue. We are not intercepting calls. Even for the person who had tested positive.” — Ndabeni-Abrahams

“Ours is to protect those who are close to the person who had tested positive.

“Operators will be arrested should they listen to people's calls. This is done to trace people who have tested positive and their contacts.” — Ndabeni-Abrahams

Changes from time to time

Justice minister Ronald Lamola said the regulations were under constant review and would change from time to time.

“We must state from the onset that the regulations will be amended and reviewed from time to time to deal with issues that arise during this period.

“Some of the things that happen, we may not have been aware of and we will have to strengthen and sometimes relax the regulations.” — Lamola

“There will be a weekly report from the director-general of health to the designated judge to ensure that the information obtained is used to trace contacts of those found to be infected with Covid-19. — Lamola

No cigarettes for sale anywhere

Police minister Bheki Cele took a jab at the DA-run Western Cape government after it relaxed lockdown regulations in the province on the sale of cigarettes.

“These regulations are national regulations. There are no provincial regulations or regional regulations. What is done in Limpopo must be done in the Western Cape.

“The police will not implement the so-called provincial regulations. Please don’t do it. Stick to what is signed by the national minister.” — Cele.

“There is no province that has a special dispensation out of the regulations that have been signed by the minister.

“If it is not in the national regulations, it is not allowed to happen. For now, cigarettes are not sold. That includes the Western Cape.” — Cele.

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