• Adami Geldenhuys

Covid-19 Regulatory Update 10 - 16 November 2021

Updated: Dec 14, 2021


This edition refers to:

  • the pollution caused by personal protective equipment such as wipes and masks;

  • the extension of the national state of the disaster to 15 December 2021;

  • the Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”) Covid-19 National Disaster Regulations and

  • a new book by Juta: Property and Pandemics: Property Law Responses to Covid-19.

Webinar


Free IFAPP Webinar on Regional COVID-19 Updates: COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Date: 18 November 2021

Registration details:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vVKV6hWgSvamopyKXsdtdQ


ADVERTISING

COMMUNICATIONS

CORRUPTION

COURT

EMPLOYMENT

EXTENSION OF NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER

MASK MANDATE

POLLUTION

PROPERTY

VACCINES


ADVERTISING


Van Wyk v Food Lover’s Holdings (Pty) Ltd (8 November 2021) (Advertising Regulatory Board Ruling)

Code of Advertising Practice: Section II, Clause 3.3 (Legality); Clause 13 (Safety).

Consumer complaint – Television commercial for Food Lover’s Market – Complainant submitting that commercial featured no disclaimer that all COVID-19 precautions and regulations were followed during filming; and that no person featured in commercial was following safety protocols – Advertisement not condoning illegal activity – Disclaimer not legal requirement – Dismissed.

Ruling available at: http://www.arb.org.za/2021-rulings.html


COMMUNICATIONS


Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005

Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”) Covid-19 National Disaster Regulations.

GenN661 GG 45458 p3 11Nov2021

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202111/45458661.pdf


CORRUPTION


Curson, Barbara. Covid-19 tender-related fraud rages unabated.

2021 Nov 16 Moneyweb

“Special Tribunal to hear review of alleged R50m tender irregularities related to upgrades to AngloGold Ashanti Hospital.”

https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/covid-19-tender-related-fraud-rages-unabated/


COURTS


Office of the Deputy Judge President. High Court Of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division. COVID-19 Directives (Revised) of 11 June 2021 – urgent revision with immediate effect. 12 November 2021.

“1. The Judge President’s Consolidated Directive (“Revised – 18 September 2020 Consolidated Directive in re Court Operations in the Pretoria and Johannesburg High Courts during the Extended Covid-19 National State of Disaster”) dated 11 June 2021, among other aspects, addresses the procedure for unopposed divorces. Divorces are dealt with at paragraphs 135 to 151.

2. Paragraph 141(c) and paragraph 147(c) provide for an affidavit to be produced to the court dealing with the merits of the divorce matter. It states that the relevant evidence can be deposed to by the plaintiff or an attorney.

3. The notion that an attorney can give such evidence is self-evidently incorrect.

4. The phrase in both paragraphs which reads “alternatively the attorney of record” is improper and obviously is in conflict with law. It is amended and deleted by this notice with immediate effect.

5. Divorce orders, where an attorney has purported to give the evidence shall not be granted.”

https://www.judiciary.org.za/index.php/news-category/689-gauteng-local-division-deputy-judge-president-s-notice-to-profession


EMPLOYMENT


See also: Vaccines: Mandatory Vaccinations


FAQ – Can I dismiss an employee for absence after not returning from self-isolation?

2021 Nov 12 SEESA

“Employers should be careful when contemplating disciplinary action against employees who are absent from the workplace due to self-isolation from COVID-19 exposure. Two CCMA cases, with varying outcomes, confirm that these matters should be dealt with systematically and only after adequately investigating the facts. In Mehlala v Cybersmart (Pty) Ltd (2021) 7 BALR 749, the CCMA confirmed that OHS Regulations require an employee to self-isolate for a period of 10 days or longer if the employee shows symptoms.”

https://blog.seesa.co.za/index.php/2021/11/12/faq-can-i-dismiss-an-employee-for-absence-after-not-returning-from-self-isolation/


Manyane, Manyane. CCMA receives complaints of people being fired for not taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

2021 Nov 15 Sunday Independent

https://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/news/ccma-receives-complaints-of-people-being-fired-for-not-taking-the-covid-19-vaccine-5b72e35b-355b-4d56-aa69-0fde0db3970c


Myeni, Nombulelo. COIDA covers COVID-19 side effects.

2021 Nov 10 Lawtons Africa

“Regulation 4(10) of the regulations under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 legislates the implementation of mandatory vaccinations in the workplace, due to the employer’s operational requirements and the environment in which employees operate. Accordingly, employers can stipulate that vaccination is mandatory, subject to meeting the requirements of the regulations.”

https://www.lawtonsafrica.com/post/coida-covers-covid-19-side-effects


Ndlovu, Lonias and Tshoose, Clarence Itumeleng. COVID-19 and employment law in South Africa: comparative perspectives on selected themes.

2021 33(1) South African Mercantile Law Journal p25

“In this paper, the authors explore the possible implications of COVID-19 on the rights of employers and employees in South Africa. The issues that need to be considered include leave when employees elect to stay at home as a precautionary measure against contracting the coronavirus at work, the enforcement of employment contracts, employment security, workplace discipline, working hours, absenteeism, and the employer’s duty to provide the employees with a safe working environment.”


Van Heerden, Andre and Van Wyk, Jacques. The importance of employees adhering to Covid-19 protocols in the workplace.

2021 Nov 9 Werksmans Attorneys

“The dismissal of an employee who reported to work whilst awaiting a Covid-19 test result, who failed to self-isolate after receiving a positive Covid-19 test result, who failed to wear a mask in the workplace and failed to adhere to social distancing protocols, was fair. In the case of Eskort Ltd v Mogotsi and Others [2021] 8 BLLR 811 (LC), the Labour Court had to consider the above issue.”

https://www.werksmans.com/legal-updates-and-opinions/the-importance-of-employees-adhering-to-covid-19-protocols-in-the-workplace/


EXTENSION OF NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002

National state of disaster: Extension to 15 December 2021.

RGN1501 GG 45485 p3 13Nov2021

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202111/45485reg11358gon1501.pdf


MASK MANDATE


Sumner, Mark. Judge invokes ADA in overturning Texas ban on mask mandates in ruling that could go nationwide.

2021 Nov 10 Daily Kos

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2063635


POLLUTION


Face masks and other pandemic related waste are ending up in the ocean. Mike Wills speaks to Professor Peter Ryan, the Director of The Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology. – CapeTalk, 11 November 2021.

https://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/432082/face-masks-and-other-pandemic-related-waste-are-ending-up-in-the-ocean


Mitchell, Taiyler Simone. Oceans have become polluted with approximately 26,000 tons of PPE during pandemic, new report claims.

2021 Nov 9 Business Insider

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/oceans-polluted-with-approximately-tons-ppe-during-pandemic-2021-11


Phelps, Teale and Cooke, Sam. Masks on the beach: the impact of Covid-19 on marine plastic pollution. – OceansAsia, December 2020.

2021 Dec OceansAsia

https://oceansasia.org/covid-19-facemasks/


Peng, Yiming [et al.] Plastic waste release caused by COVID-19 and its fate in the global ocean.

2021 Nov 23 118(6) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/118/47/e2111530118.full.pdf


PROPERTY


Temmers Boggenpoel, Zsa-Zsa [et al.] Property and Pandemics: Property Law Responses to Covid-19. – Juta, 2021.

ISBN: 9781485138693

Publisher’s summary: “This collection offers critical perspectives on the role that property law rules and principles played in the responses of different states to the pandemic. The contributions challenge readers to think about how property law can or should respond to drastically changing circumstances.

The research is centred around four themes that intend to highlight

the role that property law has played in governmental responses to the pandemic. The role of the home takes centre stage in considering how the instruction to ‘shelter in place’ carried with it a host of assumptions about the accessibility, availability and habitability of housing. Secondly, the constitutionality of regulations that affect the so-called ‘normal’ use and enjoyment of property is considered. Thirdly, spatial implications of the pandemic are set out, to consider how rural residents stand to be affected in specific and diverse ways. Finally, from a theoretical perspective, scholars consider systemic views of how property law fits into larger conversations about human flourishing, public health and resilience to disasters.”

Price: R595.00 including VAT, excluding delivery. Order from books@lexinfo.co.za


VACCINES


Anti-Vaxxers


Maori tribe tells anti-vaxxers to stop using haka.

2021 Nov 15 eNCA

https://www.enca.com/news/maori-tribe-tells-anti-vaxxers-stop-using-haka


Booster Vaccine


Sguazzin, Antony. Doctors want choice for health workers in Covid-19 vaccine booster.

2021 Nov 10 Business Day

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2021-11-10-doctors-want-choice-for-health-workers-in-covid-19-vaccine-booster/


Certificates


South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccine certificates are getting an upgrade.

2021 Nov 12 BusinessTech

https://businesstech.co.za/news/trending/537092/south-africas-covid-19-vaccine-certificates-are-getting-an-upgrade/


Children


Ellis, Estelle. Court deals blow to ACDP bid to stop Covid-19 vaccinations for children.

2021 Nov 12 Daily Maverick

“An application by the African Christian Democratic Party to stop the vaccination of children between the ages of 12 and 17 against Covid-19 has suffered a setback after the Pretoria High Court ruled it was not urgent. Meanwhile, Health Minister Joe Phaahla has urged more South Africans to get the jab, saying it will help prevent a festive season marred by a fourth wave of infections.”

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-12-court-deals-blow-to-acdp-bid-to-stop-covid-19-vaccinations-for-children/


Exclusion from Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965


Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965

Exclusion of Covid-19 vaccines.

GN1502 GG 45487 p3 15Nov2021

https://www.gov.za/documents/medicines-and-related-substances-act-exclusion-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccines-operation


Inequity


Carey, Timothy A. The number that matters in the COVID pandemic is a relative one: vaccine inequity.

2021 Nov 14 The Conversation

https://theconversation.com/the-number-that-matters-in-the-covid-pandemic-is-a-relative-one-vaccine-inequity-171503


Hesitancy


McCain, Nicole. Covid-19: Lack of education could be driving vaccine hesitancy, say health authorities.

2021 Nov 10 News24

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/covid-19-lack-of-education-could-be-driving-vaccine-hesitancy-say-health-authorities-20211110


Intellectual Property


Moderna COVID-19 vaccine patent dispute headed to court, U.S. NIH head says.

2021 Nov 11 Daily Maverick

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-11-moderna-covid-19-vaccine-patent-dispute-headed-to-court-u-s-nih-head-says/


Lockdown for Unvaccinated


Austria lockdown for unvaccinated to start Monday in EU first.

2021 Nov 15 East Coast Radio

https://www.ecr.co.za/news/news/austria-lockdown-unvaccinated-start-monday-eu-first/


Mandatory Vaccinations


Brazil’s top court rules that companies can require employee vaccination.

2021 Nov 13 SABC News

https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/brazils-top-court-rules-that-companies-can-require-employee-vaccination/


Ellis, Estelle. Mandatory vaccine policies will survive a constitutional challenge — legal expert Halton Cheadle.

2021 Nov 10 Daily Maverick

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-10-mandatory-vaccine-policies-will-survive-a-constitutional-challenge-legal-expert-halton-cheadle/


Florida lawmakers to meet in special session over vaccine mandates.

2021 November 15 SABCNews

https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/florida-lawmakers-to-meet-in-special-session-over-vaccine-mandates/


Mandatory vaccinations: A checklist for considering religious exemptions.

2021 Nov 8 Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

https://www.cliffedekkerhofmeyr.com/en/news/publications/2021/Employment/Mandatory-Vaccinations-A-checklist-for-considering-religious-exemptions.html


Musengi, Kudzanai. Zimbabwe’s vaccine decree leaves workers in a bind.

2021 Nov 12 TimesLive

“The Zimbabwean government may not yet be punishing government workers who have not received the Covid-19 vaccine, but its directive is still in full force.

In early September, the government issued a directive that by October 15, all civil servants would have to be vaccinated or else they would not be allowed at their work stations, among other punitive measures, including salary deductions. Parastatals and many big companies followed suit.”

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2021-11-12-zimbabwes-vaccine-decree-leaves-workers-in-a-bind/


Old Mutual announces mandatory vaccinations for employees in South Africa.

2021 Nov 15 FANews

https://www.fanews.co.za/article/company-news-results/1/old-mutual/1049/old-mutual-announces-mandatory-vaccinations-for-employees-in-south-africa/33351


Misinformation


Farber, Tanya. SA’s uneven vaccine rollout: lack of access or hesitancy.

2021 Nov 14 Business Day

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/health/2021-11-14-sas-uneven-vaccine-rollout-lack-of-access-or-hesitancy/


Date posted: 16 November 2021

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