Covid-19 Regulatory Update: 1 - 7 September 2021
Highlights in this week’s edition include:
the proposed directives published by the South African Reserve Bank in terms of the Banks Act 94 of 1990 for comments by 23 September 2021 on the withdrawal of the temporary relief measure related to the liquidity coverage ratio and the withdrawal of the temporary treatment of restructured credit exposures due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic;
the extension of the validity period of learner’s licences, driving licence cards, licence discs, professional driving permits and registration of motor vehicles for adjusted level 3 to 31 March 2022;
more news on mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports.
Bhengu, Cebelihle. City of Tshwane clears the air on ‘vaccine passports to buy booze’ proposal. - 2021 Sept 3 Dispatch Live [Extract from article: “Tshwane mayor Randall Williams is not considering banning the sale of booze to unvaccinated residents, but says it would be ideal for people to get jabbed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in gatherings where alcohol is consumed.]
BANKING / CONSUMERS
South African Reserve Bank. Proposed directive issued in terms of section 6(6) of the Banks Act 94 of 1990: Withdrawal of the temporary treatment of restructured credit exposures due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 1 September 2021.
Comments invited by 23 September 2021
South African Reserve Bank. Proposed directive issued in terms of section 6(6) of the Banks Act 94 of 1990. Withdrawal of the temporary relief measure related to the liquidity coverage ratio. 1 September 2021. [The purpose of this proposed directive is to withdraw the temporary relief measure related to the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) implemented at the onset of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic stress period.]
Comments invited by 23 September 2021.
COMMUNICATIONS / BROADCASTING
Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005: Amendment of Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”) Covid-19 National Disaster Regulations.
JPC CEO denies processes were flouted. - 2021 Aug 31 Enca [Extract from article: “The Johannesburg Property Company's embattled CEO has defended deviating from tender regulations for deep-clean contracts for the city's public spaces amid COVID-19.”]
Scriba, Belinda and Nel, Simone. COVID-19 silver lining? The dawn of a new digital era for South African dispute resolution. - 2021 Aug 31 Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr [Extract from article: “Despite courts being considered an essential service since the first Alert Level 4 lockdown in 2020, court processes in South Africa had to rapidly change and recalibrate to adapt to the so-called “new norm”. This was only made possible through the implementation of digital platforms.”]
Theunissen, Garth. Covid-19 linked to year’s 43% surge in death claims. - 2021 Aug 31 Times Live [Extract from article: “Insurance industry experienced 309,733 extra mortalities in its latest annual measurement period.”]
Marcus, Josh. Ohio judge orders hospital to treat Covid patient with horse medicine Ivermectin despite warnings from CDC: Authorities warn taking the drug for Covid is ineffective and could cause serious health effects. - 2021 September 2 The Independent
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). FDA’S stance on Ivermectin aligned to SAHPRA’s position. 3 September 2021. [Extract from article: "The USFDA was made aware of reports of individuals self-medicating with Ivermectin and some even using the animal formulation. SAHPRA in its statement on 28 January 2021, reiterated that taking such a drug without it undergoing the requisite testing and protocols could impact one’s health adversely and could also lead to death. "]
Britton, Nicole; Costa, Amelia and Van der Vyver, Ernie. COVID-19 and the obligation to pay rent – Is there an impossibility to perform and what does that mean for insurers? - 2021 Aug 31 Clyde & Co [Extract from article: “On 25 August 2021, the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court delivered a judgment in the matter of Freestone Property Investments (Pty) Ltd v Remake Consultants CC and Another (2020/29927)  ZAGPJHC 150, which offers some significant guidance on the applicability of the doctrine of supervening impossibility of performance in terms of the obligation to pay rent under lease agreements due to COVID-19 and the accompanying government restrictions”]
Ngema, Thobeka. DA opens case against maskless KZN Health MEC. - 2021 Aug 31 Daily News [Extract from article: “The DA has laid criminal charges at the Durban North police station against Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane after she was seen at her surprise birthday party without a mask. The party on Monday opened the case in terms of Sections 36.1 (a) and (c) of the government-issued Adjusted Alert Level 3 regulations during the Covid-19 lockdown.”]
Vietnam jails man for five years for spreading Covid-19. - 2021 Sept 7 IOL [Extract from article: “ A Vietnamese man has been sentenced to five years in jail for spreading Covid-19 after he breached home quarantine rules. Le Van Tri was convicted of "spreading dangerous infectious diseases to other people" after he travelled to his home province Ca Mau from coronavirus hotspot Ho Chi Minh City in July, according to a report on the website of the provincial People's Court.”]
ORIGINS OF COVID-19
Makoe, Abbey. COVID-19 origin tracing is becoming a political hot potato. - 2021 Sept 4 SABCNews [Extract from article: “.... the Chinese authorities in SA shred into pieces a US government report that persists on Washington’s standpoint that COVID-19 could have originated in Wuhan, China. The report, ordered by US President Joe Biden into his intelligence services to determine within a 90-day period the origin of coronavirus, the report – made public recently – cited unhappiness with China’s alleged refusal to cooperate with the US investigators.”
“But infection control is seldom about a single preventative tool – we need to combine what we know works: keep wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, focus on accelerating the vaccination roll-out and add in fresh air.”
ROADS AND ROAD TRANSPORTATION
Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002: Directions issued in terms of Regulation 4 (7)(b) of the Regulations made under section 27(2) Measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19. Determination of extension for the validity period of Learner’s Licences, Driving Licence Cards, Licence Discs, Professional Driving Permits and Registration of Motor Vehicles for Adjusted Level 3. Amendment of GN544 in GG 43339 of 20 May 2020 as amended by GN802 in GG 43539 of 22 July 2020 and GN1281 in GG 43958 of 03Dec2020. Amendment of Direction 6. Extended to 31 March 2022.
Anti-Vax Fake News
Mandatory vaccination policies. - 2021 Aug 27 VDMA [Extract from article: “The controversial topic of mandatory vaccination policies has increasingly become a topic of conversation in recent weeks. As the national vaccine rollout gathers momentum, more businesses are starting to employ mandatory vaccine policies for their employees. This raises a number of questions, including whether or not any business can implement such a policy, and how they go about doing so.”]
Nkgadima, Rudolph. Vaccinate or provide us with weekly Covid-19 test results, company tells workers. - 2021 Sept 6 IOL [Extract from article: "“The United National Breweries SA (UNB) which is the leading manufacturer of Traditional African Sorghum Beer (Umqombothi) has set a target of vaccinating 90% of all its workers by middle or towards the end of September 2021… According to a circular issued by the company, employees who want to exercise their constitutional rights of not getting vaccinated will be requested on a weekly basis to provide proof that they are not positive and the cost will be on the employee.”]
Bhengu, Cebelihle. City of Tshwane clears the air on ‘vaccine passports to buy booze’ proposal. - 2021 Sept 3 Dispatch Live [Extract from article: “Tshwane mayor Randall Williams is not considering banning the sale of booze to unvaccinated residents, but says it would be ideal for people to get jabbed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in gatherings where alcohol is consumed."]
Extract from article: “I recently visited a community scheming where I was required to have my temperature tested and recorded. I also had to give my contact details. These are reasonable requirements that operate in the best interests of all the residents in that scheme... But a scheme does not have the statutory authority to go further and require that residents, employees or visitors be vaccinated.”
2021 Sept 1 Business Day [Extract from article: “It’s about citizenship,” French President Emmanuel Macron said as he defied opponents of so-called Covid-19 vaccine passports needed to visit public spaces such as bars and museums.”]
Extract from media statement: “WHO does not support the requirement of proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to travel. In some situations, however, depending on the risk assessment of the countries concerned, information about vaccination against COVID-19 may be used to reduce requirements for quarantine or testing upon arrival. But this is not the primary purpose of the move towards digital documentation of COVID-19 status.
On 27 August 2021, WHO published a guidance document for countries and implementing partners on the technical requirements for issuing digital certificates for vaccination against COVDI-19. .... The guidance is part of a series of planned documents on digitalization of COVID-19 certificates. The guidance will, amongst other things, Support Member states in adopting digital tools for documenting COVID-19 vaccination status for the purposes of effective health care, and proof of vaccination should it be needed for other purposes.”
Relaxed Lockdown for Vaccinated People
The Lexinfo Covid-19 Regulatory Update is a free weekly newsletter containing topical references to the latest information on Covid-19 related legal issues.