Big holes in South Africa’s level 2 lockdown regulations: business group

Business group Sakeliga says that there are major contradictions in South Africa’s alert level 2 regulations which should be rectified without delay.

The group has written a letter to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma where it points to the ‘irrational and arbitrary rules’ which are being applied to some of the country’s businesses – especially the rules around capacity.

“The regulations are incoherent,” said Piet le Roux, Sakeliga chief executive . “Without any discernible rationale, the regulations allow some businesses to operate at full capacity and others not.”

“The regulations have ended up being not about the enforcement of social distancing and hygiene, but about arbitrary limitations on numbers of persons present, regardless of the size or nature of the venue or activity.”

Some of the examples provided by Sakeliga include:

  • Casinos may operate with 50 people per floor space, but churches and other religious organisations may only accommodate 50 people in total;
  • Spectators at sporting events – even at huge stadiums with lots of open space – are completely prohibited, while busses and taxis may operate at 100% capacity;
  • Accommodation providers may only utilise 50% of their total floor space, while bars and taverns may operate at 100% capacity up to 50 people;
  • Fitness centres and gyms are limited to 50 people, regardless of venue size, which renders most unprofitable to operate and gym memberships impractical.

Sakeliga said that the regulations should be amended to allow all businesses to operate at full capacity notwithstanding their industry type.

“There is in our view no basis in law for the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to limit the rights and freedoms of businesses, their employees, and their customers in this incoherent manner.

“The Minister can assist the public in setting guidelines on proper health and safety protocols,” the group said that.

The business group said that Dlamini-Zuma should amend all regulations that seek to discriminate between different activities and business by placing a limitation on the number of customers or patrons that are allowed to visit the business premises.

Read: The single biggest risk to South Africa’s growth right now, according to economists

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Big holes in South Africa’s level 2 lockdown regulations: business group