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AfriForum set to challenge any Covid-19 health regulations

04 May 2022 - 15:55 By TimesLIVE
AfriForum says it plans to challenge any new Covid-19 regulations after the lifting of the national state of disaster last month. Stock photo.
AfriForum says it plans to challenge any new Covid-19 regulations after the lifting of the national state of disaster last month. Stock photo.
Image: 123rf/kellyermis

AfriForum on Wednesday said it is ready to fight any regulations that aim to make permanent the temporary Covid-19 rules. This as the 30-day extension of the current regulations is set to expire at midnight.

“This means that unless the government makes another one of its late-night announcements no-one will be required to wear masks or comply with any other Covid-19 regulations from tomorrow [Thursday], as no such regulations would exist and be enacted,” the organisation said.

The government extended the regulations for 30 days after the national state of disaster came to an end to pave the way for a new mechanism to apply Covid rules.

“Should the government go ahead with their plans to permanently keep these regulations in law, AfriForum, together with the public participation platform DearSA, will launch court action against government’s proposed regulations issued in terms of the National Health Act and the International Health Regulations Act.”

Jacques Broodryk, campaigns manager at AfriForum, said the organisation’s court documents have already been finalised and its legal team is standing by to fight these amendments immediately should they come into force.

“AfriForum will litigate to review the astoundingly and unjustifiable regulations,” he said.

AfriForum said DearSA was also concerned about government’s handling of the public participation process on the proposed amendments to the National Health Act.

“The number of comments submitted, as quoted by health officials, is far less than the number of comments DearSA received and submitted on behalf of public participants,” CEO of DearSA Gideon Joubert said.

More than 95% of the 283,000 comments DearSA received rejected the regulations.

AfriForum said it also submitted more than 30,000 individual comments rejecting them.

“There is no reason these temporary health regulations should be made permanent. While many countries across the globe have dropped regulations such as the wearing of masks, the SA government wants to permanently place these measures in law. It’s absolutely illogical,” Broodryk said.

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