By Peter Cottrell CA(SA)
The following provides high level guidance on the regulations and guidelines applicable to the Level 3 Lockdown Regulations.
The Level 3 regulations are fairly broad in their application and, although there are some anomalies, in the main businesses should have a fairly clear understanding of what activities are permitted. It is expected that further sectoral regulations will be issued which will need to be applied in context.
Whereas the regulations to date have specified activities that are permitted, the Level 3 regulations work on an exclusion basis. The exclusions are set out in the regulations under Table 2 (page 15) and exclude activities such as hospitality, leisure travel, conferences, events (including sport), personal services, public transport, education (subject to directions), tourist attractions and entertainment.
All other businesses that are not on the exclusion list will be permitted to operate.
Requirements for businesses that will operate under Level 3
The regulations state that “all persons who are able to work from home must do so.” We envisage that many administrative and financial functions will continue to be performed on a work from home basis.Businesses that operate under Level 3 will be required to implement a workplace plan and to comply with the health and safety measures issued by the Department of Labour. Section 47 of the Level 3 Regulations contains requirements including:
- Development of a plan for the phased return of employees to the workplace, which must correspond to Annexure E of the regulations and must be retained for inspection;
- Designation a Covid-19 compliance officer;
- Development and implementation of measures to ensure that the workplace meets the standards of health protocols, adequate space for employees and social distancing measures for the public and service providers.
The Workplace Plan requirements are substantially the same as applied under Level 4 and we refer to our previous guidance on workplace plans.
Permitted travel and permits
Warrick de Wet has kindly provided guidance on permitted travel and permits as follows:
- Anyone may travel to and from work to perform permitted services (section 33(1)(a) and (b)).
- No permits are required for travel.
- Travel between provinces, metros and districts, and Covid-19 hotspots is prohibited unless (i) for work purposes or to perform permitted services and (ii) the employee has a permit (section 33(4).
- The permit in question is the old Form 2 permit form the 29 April 2020 Level 4 regulations.
The difficulty here is that, according to the regulations, the eThekwini Metro is a Covid-19 hotspot. So, the interpretation of section 33(4) is important to us.
I understand the section to mean that you may travel within a Covid-19 hotspot without a permit, but you may not travel from a Covid-19 hotspot to another province, metro or district for permitted work unless you have a permit.
I am convinced this interpretation is correct due to the double “and” – “and districts and “. The sentence is structured as follows:
“Movement of persons between [provinces, metropolitan areas and districts] and hotspots is prohibited…”
This is not to be read as a prohibition of travel between metros or provinces where a hotspot is not involved, provided that it is for work purposes and the employee has a permit.
Links to regulations and resources
- Regulations issued in Terms of the Disaster Management Act 18 May 2020 (“Level 3 Regulations”)
- Regulations issued in Terms of the Disaster Management Act 29 April 2020 (“Level 4 Regulations”) (Will be needed to access the Annexures to the regulations)
- Direction on Health and Safety in the Workplace “Health and Safety Regulations”)
Peter Cottrell CA(SA)
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