Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has invited the public to comment on draft regulations that will replace the COVID-19 National State of Disaster.
Dlamini-Zuma gazetted the draft rules on Tuesday (29 March) and South Africans have 48 hours (until 1 April 2022) to submit their comments.
Draft regulations to replace National State of Disaster
Citizens can view the draft regulations on the COGTA website here. In a statement on Tuesday, Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesperson Lungi Mtshali said the regulations emanated from National Disaster Management Centre recommendations and a Cabinet decision.
“The Minister will, in terms of the National Disaster Management Act, leave in place minimal and confined regulations dealing with post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation as defined in the Act, whilst the remaining regulations will be repealed,” Mtshali explained.
“These minimal and confined regulations left in place will only be in place for 30 days from 5 April 2022, thereafter they will automatically lapse.
“While the ambit of these provisions to remain in place will be informed by a consideration of the public comments received, it is envisaged that they will likely include the provisions relating to mask-wearing (parts of the current Regulation 67), the regulations relating to gatherings (parts of the current Regulation 69), Regulation 75 dealing with travellers and South Africa’s borders, the no-fault compensation scheme and the payment of the social grant of R350.”
The short 48-hour period for public comment will allow the government to end the State of Disaster as soon as possible while keeping in place the necessary regulations.
After consideration of public comments, President Cyril Ramaphosa will then announce the end of the State of Disaster before 15 April or earlier.
“It might be around the fifth of April. This was also informed by the Disaster Management Centre, which has also done its own work and they’ve advised that the classification of pandemic at this point is no longer advisable,” Dlamini-Zuma said during a media briefing on Tuesday.
Where to submit your comments
If you wish to comment on the draft rules, you may do so via this online form or by emailing Regulations@cogta.gov.za.
“The Minister wishes to reiterate that these measures are specifically to cater for post-disaster recovery and the rehabilitation period to mitigate risks and to efforts while dealing with some of the effects of the disaster and reducing the risk of a similar disaster occurring,” Mtshali said.
“Government continues to call for everyone to get vaccinated, and encourages those who have not yet been vaccinated to take advantage of the vaccines still being offered for free throughout the country.”