Lockdown level 1: Banks must police ATMs, old age home visits allowed and voting readiness set to resume

01 March 2021 - 10:19 By TimesLIVE
The elderly will soon be permitted to receive visits at residential facilities, subject to conditions to be announced. Stock photo.
The elderly will soon be permitted to receive visits at residential facilities, subject to conditions to be announced. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/OBENCEM

Despite an appeal from the industry, all banks and financial institutions have been ordered to ensure their automated teller machines (ATMs) provide hand sanitiser for use by members of the public.

They must also take steps to ensure people queuing at ATMs maintain a distance of 1.5m from each other.

This is contained in the latest government gazette regarding alert level 1 Covid-19 restrictions published by co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

A month ago, the Banking Association SA (Basa) said it would engage the government to revise the regulations so banks are only responsible for enforcing the regulations “where it is practical, possible and within their control”.

Basa said the industry did ensure regular sanitisation of ATMs at branches and provided hand sanitisers for customers while ensuring markers for social distancing. ATMs not attached to branches are cleaned and sanitised by external cleaning companies or landlords where they are located and by the cash-in-transit companies that service the ATMs.

However, the association said there were difficulties in complying with the rules.

“SA has an estimated 30,000 ATMs. About 70% of ATMs are situated in remote locations and on premises not owned by banks, such as petrol-station forecourts and in malls,” said Basa.

Dlamini-Zuma has also signalled that the elderly may soon be able to receive visits from their loved ones.

The gazette permits “controlled visits” to older persons’ residential facilities and correctional centres, remand detention facilities, police holding cells and military detention facilities.

This is “permitted to the extent and in the manner directed by the relevant cabinet minister”.

The Electoral Commission will be allowed to resume voter registration and special voting, as outlined by the responsible cabinet minister.

TimesLIVE


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