• Adami Geldenhuys

Covid-19 Regulatory Update 17-23 November 2021

Updated: Dec 14, 2021


Highlights in this edition include:

  • concerns about the extension of the national state of disaster;

  • a judgment on rental remission during lockdown;

  • the court challenge to government’s ban on religious gatherings;

  • developments regarding mandatory vaccinations and issues relating to PPE corruption.


CORRUPTION

CURFEWS

EMPLOYMENT

EXTENSION OF NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER

HUMAN RIGHTS

LAND AND PROPERTY

LEGAL PROFESSION

LOCKDOWN

RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS

VACCINES


CORRUPTION


Gibson, Erika. PPE corruption: SIU refers SANDF cases to NPA for prosecution, moves to recover millions from contractors.

2021 Nov 17 News24


Heywood, Mark. Blooming impunity: Update on PPE irregular expenditure and graft.

2021 Nov 17 Daily Maverick


Mashego, Abram. SIU gunning for firms, directors after R7bn looted from state coffers.

2021 Nov 21 City Press

“In its bid to recover the money, the unit has filed at least 50 civil cases with the Special Tribunal, to the value of R6.9 billion. Among the cases are 11 civil matters with a combined value of R259 million.

The cases are related to the supply and delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”


Motse, Olebogeng. SIU recovers 1,8% of funds inflated by NW PPE providers.

2021 Nov 16 OFM


Seeletsa, Molefe. UIF incurs millions in irregular expenditure after flouting procurement rules, Parly hears.

2021 Nov 17 The Citizen

“The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has told Parliament that the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has incurred R6.1 million in irregular expenditure as a result of corruption.

The SIU had investigated the UIF’s Covid-19 awareness campaign, which started in August last year.”


CURFEWS


SA lockdown | AfriForum calls for an end to curfew.

2021 Nov 17 Enca


EMPLOYMENT


See also: Vaccines: Mandatory Vaccinations


Dealing with Covid-19 in the workplace: the best response by an HR practitioner.

2021 Nov 22 IOL


EXTENSION OF NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER


Charles, Marvin. Govt must provide public with 'clear roadmap' on when state of disaster will end - Premier Winde.

2021 Nov 16 News24

“The Western Cape government is still forging ahead with its efforts to get the national government to lift the state of disaster and lockdown regulations.

This comes as the country heads into the festive season with the possibility of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.”


Don’t shut us down in December, Fedhasa pleads as SA State of Disaster extended.

2021 Nov 16 IOL

“With the extension of the State of Disaster to 15 December 2021, Fedhasa has called on the South African government to use all other mechanisms at its disposal to control the spread of Covid-19 and avoid instituting regulations that hamper the hospitality sector’s operations and ability to secure jobs.”


Head, Tom. ‘It is deceitful!’ – State of Disaster extension now faces serious challenge.

2021 Nov 11 The South African

“The IRR wants to know what evidence or reasons were used to justify the extension of the State of Disaster. The group is also asking if any consideration was given to alternative measures, or the economic impact of another month under lockdown. Furthermore, they point out that the 2021 Elections DID NOT cause a spike in COVID-19 numbers.”


Hospitality industry on edge as state of disaster extended to December 15.

2021 Nov 16 BusinessLive


Legal challenge to South Africa’s never-ending lockdown.

2021 Nov 16 BusinessTech

“Civil society group Afriforum has sent a legal letter of demand to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, stating that the continued implementation of national curfews as part of the state of disaster is irrational and unjustified.”


HUMAN RIGHTS


Cloete, Kyle Alex. The impact of COVID-19 on human rights: A critical analysis of the lawfulness of measures imposed by states during the pandemic under international law.

2021 (15) Pretoria Student Law Review p63

“This article aims to analyse state responses to the global pandemic and will consider how their lawfulness should be measured. To this end, the framework of due diligence is utilised as a system to regulate and assess the legality of state actions amidst times of emergency.”


LAND AND PROPERTY


Damons, Marecia. City of Cape Town appeals interdict stopping shack demolitions during lockdown.

2021 Nov 16 Groundup


Trustees for the time being of the Bymyam Trust v Butcher Shop and Grill CC (11877/2020) [2021] ZAWCHC 240 (19 November 2021)

Withholding of rental payment during national lockdown – entitlement to claim rental remission for sub-let leased premises – vis maior and rental remission - North Western Hotel Ltd v Rolfes Nebel & Co 1902 TS 324 – no legal principle as submitted by respondent established in North Western Hotel – lack of physical occupation of leased premises – lack of beneficial occupation – not entitled to claim rental remission from the applicant – counter application dismissed respondent ordered to make payment to applicant of R2 703 191, 17 as well as interest from 1 June 2021 to date of payment of all amounts due.


LEGAL PROFESSION


Rose, Neil. Law firm closures fall during Covid but support scheme abuses emerge.

2021 Nov 19 Legal Futures

“Law firm closures and interventions have fallen during the pandemic, but it has had negative effects too, such as abuse of government funding schemes, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has revealed.

Speaking at yesterday’s Institute of Legal Finance & Management (ILFM) virtual annual conference, Sean Hankin, the SRA’s head of forensic investigation and intelligence, said that – to the regulator’s surprise – it has not seen evidence of widespread financial instability as a result of Covid.”


LOCKDOWN


Mthethwa, Cebelihle. Carl Niehaus' case of breaking lockdown rules to support Zuma postponed to February.

2021 Nov 22 New24


What to expect from South Africa’s next Covid-19 wave and lockdown restrictions: health minister.

2021 Nov 22 BusinessTech


RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS


Freedom of Religion South Africa’s (FOR SA’s). Challenge to government’s ban on religious gatherings, heads to court. 17 November 2021.

“FOR SA is asking the Court to declare that the relevant Regulations were both unconstitutional and unlawful. Its case against the COGTA Minister is supported by religious leaders and organisations representing 11 million people from a broad-spectrum of the faith community.”


Mabuza, Ernest. Religious gatherings court battle: 'Not constitutional to limit right to worship'.

2021 Nov 22 Timeslive


Maphanga, Canny. Lockdown: Advocate tells court curb on religious gatherings was 'irrational and arbitrary'.

2021 Nov 22 News24

“The "irrational and arbitrary" decision to ban religious gatherings is being challenged in a virtual sitting of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

"Let me make it clear: what is being challenged is not [the] government's response to the pandemic. What is being challenged is the irrational and arbitrary decision of the minister to prohibit faith-based gatherings whilst she allowed at the same time, a variety of social gatherings in restaurants," Advocate Margaretha Engelbrecht SC argued on behalf of and Solidariteit Helpende Hand on Monday afternoon.”


VACCINES


COVID-19 Pill


Pfizer seeks emergency pill approval; South Africa registers 273 new cases.

2021 Nov 17 Daily Maverick


Mandatory Vaccinations


Disney World puts Covid-19 vaccination mandate policy on hold.

2021 Nov 23 TimesLive


Ferreira, Emsie. The uncertain consensus around vaccine mandates.

2021 Nov 20 Mail & Guardian

“Last month, former constitutional court justice Edwin Cameron felt it safe to say that there was, more or less, settled consensus among legal experts that Covid-19 vaccine mandates are constitutionally permissible.”


Mahomed, Imraan; King, Amy and Mogashoa, Syllabus. Introducing mandatory vaccinations for staff and students at South African universities.

2021 Nov 15 Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

“In both South Africa and the US, business and educational establishments are left to develop their own policy views on COVID-19 vaccinations to address lagging vaccination statistics and the threat of another wave of COVID-19 infections. In South Africa, we are seeing universities take the lead by putting mandatory vaccination policies in place while awaiting legislative clarity on the state's role in COVID-19 vaccination mandates.”


Make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory in South Africa — legal experts.

2021 Nov 21 My Broadband


Mandatory Covid-19 vaccines for complexes and estates in South Africa – what you should know.

2021 Nov 20 BusinessTech


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

2021 Nov 19 IOL News


Sehloho, Matshepo. Old Mutual to charge higher premiums for new unvaccinated clients.

2021 Nov 19 702 News


Van der Colff, Tracy and Rabolao, Tiisetso. Compensation for side effects of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

2021 Nov 17 Baker McKenzie

“In October this year, a notice was published by the South Africa Compensation Commissioner detailing the compensation for employees who have suffered injury, illness or death as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine.”


Vaccine Certificates


Crisp: COVID-19 digital vaccine certificates only for local use.

2021 Nov 22 Enca


Kenya state directive will boost low COVID-19 vaccine take-up: Business group.

2021 Nov 22 SABCNews

“A group of Kenyan and foreign companies welcomed on Monday a government edict that residents from December 21 must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access services, saying this would boost very low vaccine take-up in the country. Rights group Amnesty International criticised the move, saying Kenya would not be able to vaccinate the majority of its population in just four weeks and so many people might be unable to earn a living, access transport or go to school.”


Update on South Africa’s Covid-19 certificate and travelling overseas.

2021 Nov 22 BusinessTech


Vaccine Rollout


Smit, Samantha. Herd immunity or political power?

2021 (15) Pretoria Student Law Review p77

“This article evaluates the vaccine rollout plan in South Africa and whether it intends to achieve herd immunity or gain more power for the government. The importance of South Africa achieving herd immunity will be considered alongside the restrictions preventing the private sector from gaining access to vaccines thus, arguably, slowing the process of achieving herd immunity. Finally, this article explores different strategies that the government could consider in order to accelerate the vaccination rollout without relinquishing its political power.”


Date posted: 23 November 2021



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