Photo by Rafael Serafim

The lock down laws are contained in regulations which were promulgated in five parts – the second of which (of 25 March 2020, notice 398 of GG 43148: “GGN 398”) followed on the announcement of the lock down and contains the main restrictions. Nevertheless, this regulation amended (deleted and added to) the initial regulation, and it was followed by a several amendments.

Until about 15 April, there were six sets of regulations which governed the lock down:

However, further amendments have been made.

In the result an unwieldy set of documents was produced which govern the lock down. It is a target which has been moving ever since it was introduced on 18 March 2020 and it is also perpetually changing shape. Reading any one of these regulations or even reading all except one will not give one the full picture of the lock down regulations.

While I originally updated a collated document of all major regulations governing the lock down – guided by what will affect virtually everyone (until about 15 April 2020), I am pleased to see that Lexis Nexis (Butterworths) now offers this service.

Regulations have been passed relating to other activities – can be found on the website here. Portions of the regulations also appear in consolidated form on that website.

Here is the link to the LexisNexis consolidated regulations regarding the lock down: Consolidated lock down regulations – as at 29 April 2020. This site ( has been brought up to date by combining the consolidated regulations which I constructed, as informed by those constructed by LexisNexis (Butterworths). In future, please consult the LexisNexis (Butterworths) page for a consolidated set of regulations.

The full annexures relating to what are considered essential goods and services (annexure B) and which premises are to be closed (annexure D) are included below in the text. Consult the website for a copy of the necessary forms.

The main provisions of the lock down regulations – followed by the main annexures (from – are as follows:


‘lockdown’ means the restriction of movement of persons during the period for which Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of these Regulations apply, namely from 23H59 on 26 March 2020, until 23H59 on 30 April 2020;
‘movement’ means entering or leaving a place of residence or, in the case of people not ordinarily resident in the Republic, their place of temporary residence while in the Republic.

Main Provisions

Restriction on the movement of persons and goods

11 B. (1 )(a) For the period of lockdown-
(i) every person is confined to his or her place of residence, unless strictly for the purpose of performing an essential service, obtaining an essential good or service, collecting a social grant, pension or seeking emergency, life-saving, or chronic medical attention;
(ii) every gathering, as defined in regulation 1 is hereby prohibited, except for a funeral as provided for in subregulation (8); and
(iii) movement between provinces and between metropolitan and district areas is prohibited except—
(aa) for essential workers who have to travel to and from work;
(bb) transportation of—
bbA) essential goods;
(bbB) transportation of cargo from ports of entry to their intended destination; and
(bbC) cargo currently at ports of entry, for export of goods to decongest the ports of entry;
(cc) for the transportation of the mortal remains; and
(dd) attendance of a funeral as provided for and on the conditions set out in subregulation (8).
(iv) movement between the metropolitan and district areas, is prohibited.

(b) During the lockdown, all businesses and other entities shall cease operations, except for any business or entity involved in the manufacturing, supply, or provision of an essential good or service, save where operations are provided from outside of the Republic or can be provided remotely by a person from their normal place of residence. “; and

(c) Retail shops and shopping malls must be closed, except where essential goods are sold and on condition that the person in control of the said store must put in place controls to ensure that customers keep a distance of at least one square meter from each other, and that all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 are adhered to.

(d) Retail stores selling essential goods is prohibited from selling any other goods.

(e) The Cabinet member designated under section 3 of the Act may amend the list contemplated in paragraph (c) as required from time to time.

(f) Any place not involved in the provision of an essential good or service must remain closed to all persons for the duration of the lockdown.

(g) Stores selling hardware products and vehicle components must maintain a register of persons buying essential goods listed in Part A of Annexure B, and must keep a record of a signed declaration, which corresponds substantially with Form 4 of Annexure C by the buyer of goods attesting that the goods are essential goods as defined in the Regulations.

(2) The head of an institution must determine essential services to be performed by his or her institution, and must determine the essential staff who will perform those services: Provided that the head of an institution may delegate this function, as may be required in line with the complexity and size of the business operation.

(3) Persons performing essential services as determined in subregulation (2), must be duly designated in writing by the head of an institution, on a form that corresponds substantially with Form 1 in Annexure C.

(4) All places or premises provided for in Annexure D must be closed to the public except to those persons rendering security and maintenance services at those places or premises.

(a) All workplaces or premises must have care and maintenance that is essential to the prevention of the destruction or significant impairment of working areas, plant, machinery or inventory, or to permit orderly shutdown arrangements, on such conditions as may be issued by means of directions by the Cabinet members responsible for trade, industry and for employment and labour.
(b) The Cabinet members responsible for health and social services and trade, industry and competition may, by directions, designate services which are necessary to provide or maintain essential health and social services and international trade or industrial activities listed in Annexure B to the Regulations.
(c) The Cabinet member responsible for finance may by direction designate services, excluding debt collection services, in relation to the financial system, as defined in section 1(1) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017 (Act No. 9 of 2017), generally, which are necessary to—
(i) provide or maintain essential financial services listed in paragraph 3.1 of Part B of Annexure B; and
(ii) provide social grants by banks, mutual banks, co-operative banks and the Postbank in terms of paragraph 3.2 of Part B of Annexure B.
(d) The Prudential Authority, the Financial Sector Authority and the Reserve Bank may exercise their functions in terms of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017, the financial sector laws as defined in section 1(1) of that Act, and the National Payment System Act, 1998 (Act No. 78 of 1998) in the regulation, supervision and oversight of essential financial services as referred to in paragraph 3.1 and 3.2 of Part B of Annexure B and services in respect of which directions are issued in terms of paragraph (c).
(e) The Prudential Authority, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Reserve Bank—
(i) must issue directives to institutions under their respective jurisdictions to take appropriate precautionary measures when performing essential financial services in terms of these Regulations to limit staff at offices to the minimum and to take other precautionary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
(ii) may issue guidance and other directives in relation to the performance of essential financial services in terms of these Regulations.

(5) All persons performing essential services, obtaining essential goods or seeking medical attention, may be subjected to screening for COVID-19 by an enforcement officer.

(6)(a) All borders of the Republic are closed during the period of lockdown, except for ports of entry designated by the responsible Cabinet member for the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods during the period of lockdown.
(b) The Cabinet member responsible for home affairs, or a person designated by him or her, may allow a person to enter or exit the Republic for emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition, or for a South African, or foreign national to be repatriated to their country of nationality or permanent residence.
(c) The Cabinet member responsible for transport may issue directions with regard to sea cargo operations and air freight operations.
(d) All foreign tourists who arrived in the Republic prior to, or after, the lockdown, and who remain in the Republic, must remain in their place of temporary residence in the Republic for the duration of the lockdown or 14 days, as the case may be, and may be subject to screening for COVID-19 and be quarantined or isolated as required: Provided that the evacuation of foreign tourists where arrangements, including an arrangement for the evacuation by air charter, has been made by the relevant embassy, may be allowed: Provided further that a tourist is escorted to the point of exit where he or she may be screened again.

(7) Any Cabinet member may, after consultation with Ministers of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Justice and Correctional Services, issue directions which fall within his or her line functions to provide for further conditions that will apply to activities referred to in subregulation (1), or other activities provided for in these Regulations, for the protection and safety of any person, including essential workers from COVID-19, provide reasonable measures for persons with disabilities and may vary the directions as the circumstances require.

(8)(a) Movement between a metropolitan or district area, or province by a person wishing to attend a funeral shall only be permitted if the person so wishing to attend the funeral is a—
(i) spouse or partner of the deceased;
(ii) child of the deceased, whether biological, adopted or stepchild;
(iii) child-in-law of the deceased;
(iv) parent of the deceased whether biological, adopted or stepparent;
(v) sibling, whether biological, adopted or stepbrother or sister of the deceased;
(vi) grandparent of the deceased; and
(vii) person closely affiliated to the deceased.
(b) For purposes of this subregulation, closely affiliated means:
(i) a person with parental responsibilities and rights in respect of the deceased; or
(ii) a person who had developed a significant relationship based on caregiving, psychological or emotional attachment to the deceased.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), attendance at a funeral or remation is limited to 50 people and will for purposes of these Regulations not be regarded as a prohibited gathering: Provided that no night vigil shall be held and that all safety hygiene measures are strictly adhered to.
(d) Each person, whether traveling alone or not, wishing to attend a funeral or cremation and who has to travel between metropolitan and district areas, or between provinces to attend a funeral, or a cremation must obtain a permit which corresponds substantially with Form 2 of Annexure C, from his or her nearest magistrate’s office or police station to travel to the funeral or cremation and back.
(e) A Magistrate who is the head of office or a station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her, may issue the permit contemplated in paragraph (d).
(f) Upon a request for a permit contemplated in paragraph (d), a person requesting a permit must produce a death certificate or a certified copy of the death certificate to the Magistrate who is the head of office or a station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her: Provided that where a death certificate is not yet available the person requesting the permit must make a sworn affidavit which corresponds substantially with Form 3 of Annexure C.
(g) Before a permit contemplated in paragraph (d) may be issued the Magistrate who is the head of office or a station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her, must be provided with a death certificate, a certified copy of a death certificate or a sworn affidavit contemplated in paragraph (f). 
(i) Only 2 family members or a person with a close affiliation to the deceased may, with the required permits, accompany the vehicle transporting the mortal remains to the metropolitan or district area, or province where the burial or cremation will take place.
(j) The provisions of regulation 11C(1) must be strictly adhered to when travelling.
(k) A copy of the permit issued and the death certificate or sworn affidavit made, must be kept by the Magistrate who is the head of office or station commander of a police station in a file opened for each person for a period of three months after the lockdown has lapsed, whereafter it may be destroyed.

(9)(a) Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver, as defined in section 1 (1) of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), during the lockdown period, is prohibited, except where arrangements are in place for a child to move from one parent to another, in terms of-
(i) a court order;
(ii) where a parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate, is in existence, or
(iii) the co-holder of parental responsibilities and rights is in possession of a birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate of the child or children to prove a legitimate relationship between the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights:
Provided that in the household to which the child has to move, there is no person  who is known to have come into contact, or is reasonably suspected to have  come into contact with any other person known to have contracted, or is  reasonably suspected to have contracted COVID-19 in the household which the child has to move to.
(b) The parent or caregiver transporting the child concerned must have in his or her possession, the court order or the parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan or the birth certificate of the child or children, as required.

(10) All forms must be completed in full , including full names, identification or passport numbers and full contact details as required in the form and failure to do so will result in the form being rejected as invalid .

Footnotes omitted

James Grant

29 April 2020


Regulation 11A

1. Food
(i) Any food product, including non-alcoholic beverages, but excluding cooked hot food;
(ii) Animal food; and
(iii) Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any food product.

2. Cleaning and Hygiene Products
(i) Toilet Paper, sanitary pads, sanitary tampons, condoms;
(ii) Hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products, and personal protective equipment; and
(iii) Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above.
iv) Products for the care of babies and toddlers.
(v) Personal toiletries, including haircare, body and face washes, roll -ons, deodorants, toothpaste. “;

3. Medical:
(i) Medical and Hospital Supplies, equipment and personal protective equipment; and
(ii) Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above.

4. Fuel, including coal, wood and gas.

5. Basic goods, including airtime, electricity and the withdrawal of cash.

6. Hardware, components and supplies required by any qualified tradespersons solely for the purpose of emergency repairs at residential homes;

7 Hardware, components and supplies required by any entity engaged in the provision of essential services for any project related to the provision of water, electricity or other essential services;

8. Components for vehicles under-going emergency repairs where such vehicle is used by a person engaged in essential services work.


Categories of essential services shall be confined to the following services:

1. Medical, Health (including Mental Health), Laboratory and Medical services and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases; “

2. Disaster Management, Fire Prevention, Fire Fighting and Emergency services;

3.1 (a) The following services necessary to maintain the functioning of a financial system as defined in section 1(1) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, only when the operation of a place of business or entity is necessary to continue to perform those services:
(i) the banking environment (including the operations of mutual banks, cooperative banks, co-operative financial institutions and the Postbank);
(ii) the payments environment;
(iii) the financial markets (including market infrastructures licensed under the Financial Markets Act, 2012 (Act No. 19 of 2012);
(iv) the insurance environment;
(v) the savings and investment environment;
(vi) pension fund administration;
(vii) outsourced administration;
(viii) medical schemes administration; and
(ix) additional services designated in terms of regulation 11B(4A)(c)(i).
(b) The services listed in paragraph (a) may not be construed to include debt collection services.
3.2 Services necessary for the provision of social grants designated in terms of regulation 11B(4A)(c)(ii).”;

4. Production and sale of the goods listed in category A, above;

5. Grocery stores and wholesale produce markets. spaza shops, informal fruit and vegetable sellers and langanas, with written permission from a municipal authority to operate being required in respect of spaza shops and informal fruit and vegetable traders: Provided that all valid permits for spaza shops and informal fruit and vegetable traders issued before or during the declared national state of disaster and which fall due during the said period, will remain valid for a period of one month after the end of the national state of disaster;

6. Electricity (including vital demand management services), water gas and fuel production, supply and maintenance;

7. Critical jobs for essential government services as determined by Head of National or Provincial Departments in accordance with the guidance of the Department of Public Service and Administration, including Social Grant Payments and pension payments;

8. Birth and death certificates, and replacement identification documents;

9. Essential municipal services;

10. Care services and social relief of distress provided to older persons, mentally ill, persons with disabilities, the sick, and children;

11. Funeral and cremation services, including mortuaries services and the transportation of mortal remains;

12. Wildlife Management, Anti-poaching, Animal Care and Veterinary services;

13. Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunication infrastructure and services, including call centres critical for the support of such services;

14. Production and sale of any chemicals, hygiene products, pharmaceuticals for the medical or retail sector;

15. Cleaning, sanitation, pest control, sewerage, waste and refuse removal services;

16. Services related to the essential functioning of courts, judicial officers, the Master of the High Court, Sheriffs and legal practitioners required for those services;

17. Essential SARS services defined by the Commissioner of SARS;

18. Police, peace officers, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers, correctional services officials and traffic management services;

19. Postal services and courier services related to transport of medical products;

20. Private security services;

21. Air-traffic Navigation, Civil Aviation Authority, air charters, Cargo Shipping and dockyard services;

22. Gold, gold refinery, coal and mining;

23. Accommodation used for persons rendering essential services, quarantine, isolation and the lockdown;

24. Production, manufacturing, supply, logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance and repair in relation to the rendering of essential services including components and equipment;

25. Transport services for persons rendering essential services and goods, and transportation of patients;

26. Services rendered by the Executive, members of Parliament, Members of the Provincial Legislature, Members of Local Councils, the Judiciary, traditional leaders and National Office Bearers. of Political Parties represented in Parliament;

27.1 Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission, Gender Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector and the Independent Electoral Commission; and
27 .2 Services rendered by the institutions referred to in item 27 .1;

28. Transport and logistics in respect of cargo and goods as set out in Part A to neighbouring countries;

29. Tow trucks and vehicle recovery services;

30. Call centres necessary to provide health, safety, social support, government and financial services, debt restructuring for consumers of retailers. and access to short-term insurance policies as a result of reduced income or loss of income;

31. Harvesting and storage activities essential to prevent the wastage of primary agricultural goods;

32. Implementation of payroll systems to the extent that such arrangement has not been made for the lockdown, to ensure timeous payments to workers; and

33. Critical maintenance services which cannot be delayed for more than 21 days and are essential to resume operations after the lockdown.

34. Trades necessary for the rendering of emergency repair work, including plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, glaziers, roof repair work;

35. Trades necessary for emergency automobile repairs for persons rendering essential services;

36. Information and Communication Technology services rendered to entities and institutions engaged in delivering essential services in terms of these Regulations.

Footnotes omitted

Annexure D

Regulation 11B(4)

The following places and premises are closed to the public:

(a) Any place or premises normally open to the public where religious, cultural, sporting, entertainment, recreational, exhibitional, organisational or similar activities may take place;

(b) any place or premises normally open to the public where goods other than essential goods are procured, acquired, disposed of or sold;

(c) any place or premises normally open to the public such as-
(i) public parks, beaches and swimming pools;
(ii) flea markets;
(iii) open air food markets;
(iiiA) restaurants;
(iv) fetes and bazaars;
(v) night clubs;
(vi) casinos;
(vii) hotels, lodges and guest houses, except to the extent that they are required for remaining tourists confined to hotels, lodges and guest houses;
(viii) private and public game reserves except to the extent that they are required for remaining tourists confined to private and public game reserves;
(ix) holiday resorts except to the extent that they are required for remaining tourists confined to such holiday resort;
(x) on-consumption premises, including taverns, shebeens, shisanyama where liquor is sold;
(xi) off-consumption premises, including bottle stores, where liquor is sold
(xii) off-consumption areas in supermarkets where liquor is sold;
(xiii) theatres and cinemas;
(xiv) shopping malls and centres (excluding grocery stores and pharmacies); and
(xv) taxi ranks, bus depots, train stations and airports; and

(d) any other place or premises determined by the Cabinet member responsible for cooperative governance and traditional affairs by direction in the Gazette.”.

Footnotes omitted

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