Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has outlined some of the biggest challenges that government is facing when it comes to compliance around South Africa’s lockdown regulations.
Presenting to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday (26 May), Dlamini-Zuma said that government has faced increased litigation during the lockdown period as business and individuals challenge the rules.
“We deal with lots of cases, almost daily with people litigating one part or the other of the regulations,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma said that government is also dealing with a number of existing ‘societal fault lines’ which mean that people have to travel to work and for food, people need to queue for social grants and primarily use crowded public transport such as taxis.
She said that these issues could be further exacerbated by the economic shutdown with the country’s unemployment rate expected to hit as high as 50%.
Dlamini-Zuma outlined some of the other challenges with the country’s existing lockdown rules and why compliance has been difficult:
- Issues with interprovincial travel, which pose further risks as people move between areas of high and low infection;
- A number of complaints related to exercise;
- Initial tests were only related to those with symptoms and were available to people who can afford them. Dlamini-Zuma said that there is now mass screening and accelerated testing;
- Disregard by taxi owners when in comes to maximum transport capacities;
- Illegal border crossing;
- Most infections are in the country’s most populated areas, and economic hubs;
- Structural fault lines mean that people shop/work far from homes;
- Social grant recipients and issues with payment and disbursement methods;
- Poverty and increased unemployment mean lower revenue for local government.
However, Dlamini-Zuma noted that government has also learnt a number of lessons from the lockdown period. This has contributed to a more responsive, integrated, coherent, and agile government, she said.
She added that government communication accelerated while the increased in uptake technology allowed for quick and effective decisions.
Some of the other positives seen by the government include:
- Drastic reduction of crime during the first three weeks of the lockdown;
- A 70% in reduction trauma cases – including almost 9,000 fewer alcohol-related cases;
- The vast majority of people heeded the call to stay at home with less movement and traffic.
- Regulations were adapted where need dictated e.g. funerals, children and emergency repairs.
You can read the full presentation below: