South Africa moves to adjusted level 3 lockdown – here are the new rules

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that several of South Africa’s lockdown regulations will be relaxed as the country moves to an adjusted level 3 lockdown with immediate effect.

In a national address on Sunday evening (25 July), the president said that the country is making progress in its fight against the coronavirus.

The latest figures suggest the country has largely passed the third wave of Covid-19 infections, although there are still some areas of concern, he said.

He said that the last 28 days of restrictions have been effective in reducing cases, with the country averaging around 12,000 new cases each day.

While Gauteng has seen a marked decrease in cases, Ramaphosa said cases have increased in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

There has also been a concerning rise of infections in the Northern Cape after a period of relative stability,” Ramaphosa said.

In all of these areas, the president said that the increase in infections is being driven by the Delta-variant of Covid-19.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 9,718 new Covid-19 cases in South Africa on Sunday, taking the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,377,823.

This increase represents a 26.6% positivity rate. As per the National Department of Health, a further 287 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported over the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 69,775 to date.

As the cases decrease, Ramaphosa said that the country will move to an adjusted lockdown level 3, with restrictions to be eased in the following areas:

These changes will come into effect as soon as they are gazetted later on Sunday evening. “In other words, they are with immediate effect,” Ramaphosa stated.


In the coming weeks, Ramaphosa said that government will substantially increase the rate of vaccinations.

“We are increasing the number of vaccination sites and improving the vaccination registration system. We will also increase our vaccination capacity on weekends,” he said.

“We will now allow people between the ages of 18 and 34 to be vaccinated from the 1st of September 2021. This will be in addition to the age groups that are currently eligible, which is everyone over 35 years of age.”

The president said that people will be able to present themselves at a vaccination site without an appointment and be registered and vaccinated.

This substantial increase in the rate of vaccination is made possible by improvements in the supply of vaccines, he said.

“Within the next two to three months, we are scheduled to receive around 31 million additional doses from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. This supply pipeline means that there will be sufficient vaccine doses available for the rest of the year,” he said.

Unrest and violence 

Ramaphosa also adressed the unrest and looting which impacted KZN and Gauteng earlier this month. “To address these two crises, we have to take several actions at once,” he said.

Read: South Africa must offset relief funds, hasten reforms, IMF says

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