Patel under fire from DA for 'Alice in Wonderland' clothing gazette

13 May 2020 - 09:03 By TimesLIVE
New regulations have been gazetted allowing clothing to be purchased under the national lockdown. File photo.
New regulations have been gazetted allowing clothing to be purchased under the national lockdown. File photo.
Image: Dan Meyer

New regulations on what clothing can be purchased during the national lockdown, signed  by trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel, have been likened by the DA to a list from “Alice in Wonderland”. 

A government gazette dated Tuesday May 12 listed items that can be sold, with immediate effect, under level 4 of the national regulations.

“These new clothing regulations are frankly mad and seem more at place during the 1980s under the Soviet Union than they do in a democracy like SA,” DA MP Dean Macpherson charged in a statement.

“There is simply no justification for the minister to be determining what clothes people can buy and worse, how they should wear them.”

The party said that according to the regulations:

  • Shoppers can buy shirts so long as they are promoted “to be worn under jacket coats and/or knitwear” which was “insulting to South Africans' intelligence”;
  • Shoppers may only buy crop bottom pants so long as they are worn with boots and leggings;
  • And finally, one could only buy “closed toe” shoes.

Macpherson said the clothing list was “reminiscent of how people were forced to live during the existence of East Germany”.

The party urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack Patel.

TimesLIVE reported earlier that the list included all baby and toddler clothing and footwear, adult clothing and accessories including shawls and scarves, beanies, gloves, socks, belts, headwear, gym and exercise apparel, and hair accessories.


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