New transport rules for South Africa during level 3 lockdown

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has published a number of new directives which allow for increased travelling under South Africa’s level 3 lockdown.

The first directive relates to inter-provincial travel, with the directive saying that those approved for such travel at level 3 are allowed to use long-distance public transport to do so from 1 June.

However, this should be read alongside the primary level 3 regulations which outline the scenarios where South Africans are allowed to travel between provinces, districts and metropolitan areas.

In a separate directive, Mbalula indicated that some rail services will be allowed to operate during the level 3 lockdown. This includes the following Prasa routes:

  • Pienaarspoort to Pretoria Central;
  • Cape Town Southern line to Simonstown;
  • East London to Berlin;
  • Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage;
  • Any other commuter services.

The directive also states that the Gautrain will continue commuter services on the following routes:

  • Park Station to Hatfield; and
  • Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport.

Air travel

Mbalula has also outlined how air travel will work under level 3 lockdown in a third directive.

The directive indicates that all international passenger flights are prohibited except those flights authorised by the minister of transport for the repatriation of South African nationals from foreign countries and evacuation of foreign nationals from South Africa.

Commercial domestic passenger flights may resume on 1 June subject to the following conditions:

  • Domestic passenger air travel is not permitted for recreational, leisure or tourism purposes;
  • Domestic passenger flights are permitted to only use Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka International Airport, OR Tambo International Airport, and Lanseria Airport.

In addition, the directive sets out a number of other safety guidelines which need to be followed, including:

  • Only employees who work at the airport with a permit, foreign consular and diplomatic agents rendering consular services to foreign nationals, crew and, passengers are allowed in the terminal building;
  • Drop-off and pick up is only permitted outside the terminal building;
  • All persons entering the terminal building and boarding aircraft must be required to wear face masks;
  • Airports and all airlines must develop and implement procedures consistent with the applicable Covid-19 regulations;
  • Passengers are required to provide written authorisation or proof of travel;
  • All persons shall be screened before entering the terminal building, and will be denied access should they have elevated temperature or present with signs of being infected with Covid-19.


In a directive published earlier in May, Mbalula outlined the validity of motor vehicle licences and registrations during South Africa’s 21-day lockdown.

The lockdown has made it difficult for motorists to renew expired licences, and the government has published a number of regulations to extend the validity of these licences until the lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

The latest regulations state that all documentation that expired between 26 March and 31 May will now be extended for 90 days, from 1 June.

This extends to:

  • Learner’s licences;
  • Driving licences;
  • Temporary drivers licences;
  • Motor vehicle licence discs;
  • Temporary permits;
  • Roadworthy certificates;
  • Professional driver permits.

In addition, motor trade number licences that expired during this period have had their validity extended by a further six months.

A motor trade number is typically used to operate an unregistered and unlicensed motor vehicle on a public road in the course of their business.

The gazette also states that driving licence centres, registering authorities, testing stations and driving schools will resume services from 1 June. This aligns with the country’s move down to level 3 lockdown restrictions.

Read: This is the new calendar for schools in South Africa – including the planned start dates for all grades

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New transport rules for South Africa during level 3 lockdown