• Adami Geldenhuys

Covid-19 Regulatory Update 12 to 18 January 2022


Highlights in this edition include the:

  • government gazette notices relating to the extension of the national state of disaster and the amendment of the school and education directive;

  • cost of sick leave due to Covid-19;

  • Novak Djokovic matter;

  • R1.1 billion once-off relief fund for the country’s taxi industry;

  • Commission for Gender Equality’s statement on mandatory vaccination.


AGRICULTURE

CYBERBULLYING

EMPLOYMENT

EXTENSION OF STATE OF DISASTER

INSURANCE

SCHOOLS

PROCUREMENT

TAXI INDUSTRY

TRAVEL

VACCINES

AGRICULTURE


Gumede, Michelle. State suspends input vouchers cushioning subsistence farmers.

2022 Jan 13 Business Day

“The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development has suspended with immediate effect the use of vouchers, affecting more than 55,000 subsistence farmers as problems with suppliers and pricing cause bottlenecks.

An estimated R1bn was ring-fenced by the government to issue the production input coupons, capped at R9,000 per voucher on a seasonal basis as part of the Smallholder Farmer Disaster Relief Fund…”


CYBERBULLYING


Khan, Franaaz. The impact of COVID-19 on cyberbullying: A delictual claim for emotional harm?

2021 (54) De Jure p565

“The paper firstly considers the psychological implications that cyberbullying has on its victim. In addition, the current legislative framework in South Africa pertaining to cyberbullying is examined and the civil remedies available to such a victim. The paper further explores the civil remedies available to a victim in the United States and draws on the similarities and differences in South Africa. Finally, the paper proposes that victims of cyberbullying should also explore instituting a delictual claim for emotional harm in South Africa.”


EMPLOYMENT


See also: Vaccines: Mandatory Vaccinations


Regular Testing


Unvaccinated workers in South Africa could face regular Covid testing: CEO.

2022 Jan 13 Business Tech

“If an employee does not want to be vaccinated, companies are entitled to demand negative Covid-19 tests from them on a regular basis, says Business Unity South Africa (Busa) chief executive Cas Coovadia. Speaking to radio station CapeTalk, Coovadia said that these options are detailed in the Department of Employment and Labour’s directive on vaccination in the workplace, which was published in June 2021.”


Retrenchment


Israelstam, Ivan. Retrenching anti-vaxers is risky.

2021 Dec 18 Lexinfo CC Blog


Sick Leave


Njilo, Nonkululeko. Sick leave due to Covid-19 cost the state R14bn.

2022 Jan 12 Business Live

“The state has spent more than R14bn on public servants who have taken sick or incapacity leave since the outbreak of Covid-19, highlighting the enormous cost of the pandemic to the government and taxpayers... Between March 28 2020 and October 31 2021, 881,152 employees took the two categories of leave, public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo said in a written response to DA MP Mimmy Gondwe.”


EXTENSION OF STATE OF DISASTER


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002

National State of Disaster (Covid-19): Extension to 15 February 2022.

RGN1672 GG 45754 p3 14Jan2022


Vuso, Siphokazi. Little reason to maintain state of disaster, says health expert.

2022 Jan 17 Cape Times

“Various industries have reacted with disappointment to the extension of the National State of Disaster, which Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced will be in effect until February 15.”


INSURANCE


Cohn, Carolyn and Hussain, Noor Zainab. Life insurers adapt pandemic risk models after claims jump.

2022 Jan 13 Personal Finance

“A coronavirus pandemic which lasts five years, another pandemic in a decade, and ever more transmissible variants are among the scenarios life insurers are predicting after Covid-19 claims jumped more than expected in 2021.”


SCHOOLS


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002

Directions issued in terms of Regulation 4 (3), read with Regulation 66A (1) and 66A (4), read with Regulation 69, of the Regulations made under the Act, regarding the Re-opening of Schools and measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19 in the National Department of Basic Education, all Provincial Departments of Education, all Education District Offices and all Schools in the Republic of South Africa: Amendment to GN32 in GG 44154 of 12 February 2021 (Amendment of directions 1 and 11 of Directions).

In operation on date of publication.

GenN758 GG 45753 p3 14Jan2022


PROCUREMENT


UK acted unlawfully with 'VIP lane' for lucrative Covid-19 PPE contracts.

2022 Jan 12 TimesLive


TAXI INDUSTRY


Mahlakoana, Theto. R1.1 billion relief fund announced to cushion COVID battered taxi industry.

2021 Dec 11 EWN

“Government has unveiled a R1.1 billion once-off relief fund for the country’s taxi industry. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the intervention, meant to assist the industry from the negative economic effects COVID-19, is part of a list of priorities meant to address problems in the sector.”


TRAVEL


Botes, Johan and Yesmariam, Ahlisha. COVID-19: Temporary measures for visa validity periods.

2022 Jan 11 Baker McKenzie

“The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa has issued temporary measures for foreign nationals who have entered South Africa and are awaiting the outcome of their visa or waiver applications, as well as those that need to enter South Africa, those whose visas have expired or are due to expire, and those who are unable to return to their countries of residence due to travel bans.”


VACCINES


See also: Employment


Mandatory Vaccinations


Arnoldi, Marleny. Law firm unpacks issues around remote working, mandatory vaccination.

2021 Jan 14 Engineering News

“As worst of Covid-19 and getting back to work after the festive season, questions have arisen over hybrid work models and mandatory vaccine policies. In response to these topics, law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) has unpacked some of the options and legalities.”


Commission for Gender Equality. Gender Commission on imposing mandatory Covid-19 vaccination. 16 January 2022.

“As South Africa continues to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has noted a new study published in Obstetrics & Gynaecology medical journal, released on 05 January 2022, that has found that vaccines may cause a small change to the menstrual cycle length, but that this change is temporary. While health experts believe this finding is not clinically significant, the Commission would like to caution businesses and various institutions against forcing employees to vaccinate and imposing harsh sanctions on them if they do not. …The CGE would like to warn that mandatory vaccination mandates do not supersede the South Africa’s Constitution and its provisions. Section 12 (2) of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right— (a) to make decisions concerning reproduction; (b) to security in and control over their body; and (c) not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without their informed consent.”


In blow to Biden, Supreme Court blocks vaccine mandate for businesses.

2022 Jan 14 EWN

US President Joe Biden said he was 'disappointed' in the nine-member court's decision striking down his mandate for businesses with 100 employees or more to vaccinate or test their workers for COVID-19.


Novak Djokovic Matter


Djokovic deported after federal court upholds cancellation of Australian visa after Covid controversy.

2022 Jan 17 Daily Maverick

“An Australian court upheld a government decision to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa on Sunday, ending the unvaccinated tennis superstar’s hopes of winning the Australian Open and racking up a record-breaking 21 men’s Grand Slam titles. Ruling on a case that has gripped Australia and the sporting world for more than a week, a three-judge Bench of the Federal Court heard government lawyers arguments that Djokovic’s continued presence risked whipping up anti-vaccination sentiment during Australia’s worst outbreak of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.”


No vaccine, no French Open, no exception for Novak Djokovic, says French Sports ministry.

2022 Jan 17 IOL


Novak Djokovic says error made on Australian travel entry form ‘not deliberate’.

2022 Jan 12 IOL


Tests


The COVID-19 home game: Biden administration requires insurance to cover at-home tests.

2022 Jan 12 The National Law Review

“In light of the difficulty of test scheduling and concerns about costs to consumers, the Biden administration this week announced that the Department of Health and Human Services will require private health insurance and group health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home tests purchased by individuals. That requirement will go into place on January 15, 2021.”


Vaccine Passport


Fiji's Nayacalevu 'will get vaccinated' after COVID-19 law adoption.

2021 Jan 17 eNCA

“On Sunday, France's parliament voted to change the country's health passport scheme, which necessitated a full status of vaccines or a negative COVID-19 test to enter an establishment which has a public attendance, to a vaccine passport.”



12 - 18 Jan 2022
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Date posted: 18 January 2022









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