• Adami Geldenhuys

Covid-19 Regulatory Update: 15 - 21 September 2021


Topics referred to in this week's edition include:

  • the possible extension of the R350 grant beyond March 2022;

  • the right to bodily integrity;

  • corruption relating to PPE, test results, vaccine certificates and TERS;

  • mandatory vaccinations;

  • vaccine passwords;

  • abuse of vaccination leave and

  • the landmark case about the 'super-spreader' COVID outbreak at the Austrian ski resort, Ischgl.

Children

Consumer Law

Corruption

Courts

Employment

Gatherings

Ivermectin

Lockdown Regulations

Social Grants

Travel

Vaccines

CHILDREN


Nanima, Robert Doya. Evaluating the role of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in the COVID-19 era: Visualising the African child in 2050. - 2021 21(1) African Human Rights Law Journal p52


CONSUMER LAW


Marshall, Logan. City of Cape Town concerned about low tenant response to R4bn debt write-off incentives. - 2021 Sept 20 IOL

Extract from article: “The City of Cape Town is concerned that its tenants have not responded as expected to debt remission incentives. It has been offering a debt write-off incentive of about R4.1 billion to qualifying debtors….

The debt write-off incentive action was taken due to the continued impact of Covid-19 and the much slower than expected economic recovery over the past year.”


CORRUPTION


Heywood, Mark. La Vie en Rose: A single Mpumalanga company robbed SAPS of hundreds of millions in Covid-19 PPE tender. - 2021 Sept 20 Daily Maverick

Extract from article: “A small, unknown company operating under two names, with a Barberton, Mpumalanga, business address, no traceable history of supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) products and a sole director (with an underwhelming online presence) scored contracts worth hundreds of millions of rands from the police at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. Not only did it score the questionable contracts, it also managed to get R515-million paid for supplying masks and hand sanitiser and disinfectant at what is difficult not to describe as criminally inflated prices.”

Maphanga, Canny. Case of Joburg nurse accused of selling false negative Covid-19 tests postponed to next year. - 2021 Sept 17 News24


Mlambo, Sihle. Four Dis-Chem staffers arrested over fraudulent vaccine certificates. -

2021 Sept 15 News24


Mthethwa, Cebelihle. Company director arrested for alleged Covid-19 TERS fraud. -

2021 Sept 17 News24


Yende, Sizwe Sama. Private jail probed for claiming millions in Covid-19 relief funds. - 2021 Sept 19 IOL

COURTS


Western Cape High Court. Covid-19 Directives: Adjusted Level 2. 15 September 2021.


EMPLOYMENT


Cithi, Doctor; Kamper, Annelle and Du Plessis, Alex. Some reflections on COVID-19 and the employment relationship. - 2021 21(3) Without Prejudice: Employment Law Feature p4

Extract from article: “Does the fact that two persons enter into an employment relationship elevate the one to such a position or status over the other that it is entitled to tell the other that they should and must be vaccinated; considering, of course, that the decision to be vaccinated is clearly a very personal, value-laden and complex one?”


Clark, Angela. Navigating COVID-19 and vaccinations in the workplace. - 2021 Sep 15 Beech Veltman Inc.

Extract from article: “From a legal perspective, what are the most important steps an employer must take to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, particularly now that vaccinations have been rolled out?”


Coetzee, Faan; Kok, Riola and Petla, Mayson. Avoiding abuse of vaccination leave.

2021 21(3) Without Prejudice: Employment Law Feature p3 - Extract from article: “With the introduction of special leave associated with receiving COVID-19 vaccines or any side effects associated therewith, employers must ensure that the rules pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination leave are clearly communicated to employees in order to avoid any abuse.”


Is vaccination status disclosure mandatory? - 2021 Sep 14 Boshoff Inc.

Extract from article: “While employers cannot force their employees to be vaccinated, there are various grounds for dismissing employees who object, provided that the employer has conducted a thorough risk assessment to determine the need for vaccination. They also need to provide every possible reasonable solution to accommodate them.”


Myeni, Nombulelo. Restraints remain valid during the pandemic. - 2021 21(3) Without Prejudice: Employment Law Feature p20

Extract from article: “On 20 May 2021, in the case of Bulldog Abrasives Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd v Davie and Another (J123/21) [2021] ZALCJHB 58, the Labour Court found that while the COVID-19 pandemic has had severe and, in some cases, irreversible effects on the economy of the country, employees cannot opportunistically use it as a reason to breach restraint of trade agreements. The pandemic is not a vis major that renders contractual performance objectively impossible.”


GATHERINGS


Landmark Covid-19 case heads to court. - 2021 Sept 17 BusinessTech

Extract from article: “A massive Covid-19 outbreak at the hard-partying ski resort of Ischgl was covered up and then downplayed by Austrian officials to save last year’s lucrative spring season, a Vienna court will be told on Friday.”


IVERMECTIN


Marshall, Logan. Horse owners battling to find Ivermectin stock amid scramble for controversial Covid-19 treatment. - 2021 Sept 20 IOL


LOCKDOWN REGULATIONS


Clark, Angela. Alert Level 2 Regulations. - 2021 Sep 13 Beech Veltman Inc.


SOCIAL GRANTS


Muthwa, Mbongeni. Ramaphosa hints that R350 grant will be extended beyond March 2022. - 2021 Sept 20 SABCNews


TRAVEL


US to end travel bans for vaccinated passengers. - 2021 Sept 20 IOL

Extract from article: “The United States announced Monday it will lift Covid travel bans on all air passengers in November if they are fully vaccinated and undergo testing and contact tracing.”


VACCINES


Booster Shots


Zali, Marcia. Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet. - 2021 Sept 18 Mail & Guardian


Delivery


World Health Organization. International organizations, vaccine manufacturers agree to intensify cooperation to deliver COVID-19 vaccines: Fourth Meeting of the Multilateral Leaders Task Force on Scaling COVID-19 Tools. 16 September 2021.


Disinformation


Bird, William and Lubisi, Nomshado. Disinformation in the time of Covid-19: Vaccines and political parties. - 2021 Sept 19 Daily Maverick


Mandatory Vaccinations


Basketball player released from team after refusing to take Covid-19 vaccine. -

2021 Sept 20 TimesLive


De Vos, Pierre. The law and the greater good: Why I support a Covid-19 vaccine requirement at UCT (Part Two). - 2021 Sept 15 Daily Maverick


Makinana, Andisiwe. Right to bodily integrity must be balanced with right to safe working environment, Ramaphosa tells Cosatu. - 2021 Sept 20 TimesLive

Extract from article: “President Cyril Ramaphosa says while the government respects workers' right to bodily integrity when it comes to Covid-19 vaccinations, a balance has to be found between those rights and others' right to work in a safe environment.”


Penzhorn, Greer and Sonday, Ali. Can employers dismiss their employees for refusing to take the vaccine? - 2021 Sep 13 Fairbridges Wertheim Becker

Extract from article: “Our Constitution makes provision for every person in South Africa to have the right to make their own choice regarding medical procedures and it may prove difficult for employers to get past certain Constitutional protections afforded to everyone in a democratic country if they wish to dismiss employees for refusing the vaccine.”


Taruvinga, Mary. Court dismisses ZCTU vaccination challenge. - 2021 Sept 15 New Zimbabwe

Extract from article: “The High Court Application by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) for an order blocking companies from forcing their employees to undergo mandatory Covid-19 vaccination has been struck off the urgent cases roll.”


Vaccines must become mandatory in some sectors: Karrim. - 2021 Sept 15 SABC News

“Renowned epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karrim, has suggested that vaccines become mandatory in some sectors, such as healthcare, saying those in the industry who choose not to vaccinate should be required to provide a weekly negative COVID-19 test…Earlier this month, the Labour Department warned of several court cases as some companies plan to introduce mandatory vaccination policies.”


Zimbabwe imposes Covid-19 vaccine on churchgoers. - 2021 Sept 14 News24


Vaccine Equity


Calls for vaccine equity. - 2021 Sept 15 SA News

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) and a group of global health leaders on Tuesday issued an urgent call for vaccine equity globally, particularly in Africa.”


Vaccine Passports


Fabricius, Peter. South Africa’s vaccine passport: Have jab, can travel, except to the UK and US. - 2021 Sept 18 Daily Maverick


Government forging ahead with vaccine passport. - 2021 Sept 18 ENCA

Extract from article: “The National Coronavirus Command Council will consider an implementation plan for vaccine passports in the next ten days.”


SA is on the brink of getting domestic vaccine passports. Here’s how they work elsewhere. -

2021 Sept 18 Business Insider SA


Voigt, Elri. Experts broadly positive about digital vaccination certificates. - 2021 Sept 17 Spotlight


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