• Adami Geldenhuys

Covid-19 Regulatory Update: 24 - 30 November 2021

Updated: Dec 14, 2021


Highlights in this edition include:

  • the decision to remain on Level 1 lockdown;

  • comments on the judgment on rental remission during lockdown;

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

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


CORRUPTION

ECONOMY

EMPLOYMENT

LAND AND PROPERTY

LOCKDOWN

RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS

SUPER SPREADER EVENTS

TRAVEL BANS

VACCINES


CORRUPTION


Ensor, Linda. Government bound to protect identities of Covid-relief fraudsters.

2021 Nov 24 Business Day

“Companies who received fraudulent payments from the Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (Ters) from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) won’t be named and shamed because do to so would be illegal, a senior official in the labour department said.”

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2021-11-24-government-bound-to-protect-identities-of-covid-relief-fraudsters/


Hosken, Graeme. SIU guns for ‘inflated’ profits of Gauteng Covid school cleaning firms.

2021 Nov 24 Times Live

“Companies linked to fishing, arts, entertainment, vehicle repairs, real estate, construction, mining and quarrying allegedly scored some R431m worth of Covid-19 school decontamination and sanitisation contracts from the Gauteng department of education. These were just some of the claims that emerged in a special tribunal hearing on Wednesday. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) had approached the tribunal to have the contracts, awarded to 173 companies in 2020 for Covid-19 decontamination, declared unlawful, set aside and profits made by the companies forfeited to the state.”

https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times-daily/news/2021-11-24-siu-guns-for-inflated-profits-of-gauteng-covid-school-cleaning-firms/


Khoza, Amanda. MPs grill UIF official on Covid-19 Ters payments made to the dead.

2021 Nov 24 Times Live

“Members of parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday lambasted an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) official for not accepting responsibility for Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) payments to deceased people.”

https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2021-11-24-mps-grill-uif-official-on-covid-19-ters-payments-made-to-the-dead/


Vuso, Siphokazi. Alleged TERS fraudster ’worked with UIF employees’.

2021 Nov 23 IOL News

https://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/news/alleged-ters-fraudster-worked-with-uif-employees-fe219e6e-843b-4bb5-8265-c4ab0bf691a5


ECONOMY


Asian markets extend losses, but oil bounces as investors gauge Omicron threat.

2021 Nov 28 News24

https://www.news24.com/fin24/markets/money-live-20210810-6


EMPLOYMENT


See also: Vaccines: Mandatory Vaccinations


DYK – An employee can be fairly dismissed for attending the workplace while testing positive for Covid-19 or after being in contact with Covid-19.

2021 Nov 25 SEESA

https://blog.seesa.co.za/index.php/2021/11/25/dyk-an-employee-can-be-fairly-dismissed-for-attending-the-workplace-while-testing-positive-for-covid-19-or-after-being-in-contact-with-covid-19/


Lumb, Gillian and King, Amy. Are employers obliged to grant employees leave over the holiday period where they have exhausted sick leave provisions due to COVID-19 infection or exposure?

2021 Nov 22 Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

“Employers have dedicated much of the year to implementing adequate health and safety measures in the workplace, including placing employees on paid sick leave at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or following exposure to the virus. Employers may be wondering when “enough is enough” and how this impacts on requests for leave this holiday season.”

https://www.cliffedekkerhofmeyr.com/en/news/publications/2021/Employment/employment-alert-22-november-Are-employers-obliged-to-grant-employees-leave-over-the-holiday-period-where-they-have-exhausted-sick-leave-provisions-due-to-COVID19-infection-or-exposure.html


LAND AND PROPERTY


Botha, Maryna. Property law update: Remission of rent due to COVID: Remedy available for sub-tenant? Trustees for the time being of the Bymyam Trust v Butcher Shop and Grill CC (11877/2020) [2021] ZAWCHC 240 (19 November 2021).

2021 Nov 26 STBB

“In our law, in specific instances, a tenant may claim remission of rental, in whole or in part, due to vis maior. However, would the lessee’s claim for a remission succeed where it has sub-let the leased premises? The tenant here relied on a 1902 judgment to argue that it was entitled to rental remission from the landlord for its sub-tenant’s losses resulting from the legislated lockdown.”

https://stbb.co.za/property-law-update-remission-of-rent-due-to-covid-remedy-available-for-sub-tenant/


Western Cape High Court rules on whether tenants can claim a rental remission due to COVID-19.

2021 Nov 25 Clyde & Co

“A series of judgments from South Africa’s High Courts, most recently in the Western Cape High Court judgment of Bymyam Trust v The Butcher Shop and Grill CC, offer welcome guidance for landlords and tenants, as well as insurers that are faced with business interruption claims on a gross rental basis of indemnification, following COVID-19 related lockdown restrictions. We examine the recent judgment and discuss the impact it has on landlords, tenants and insurers going forward.”

https://www.clydeco.com/en/insights/2021/11/western-cape-high-court-rules-on-whether-tenants-c


LOCKDOWN


Political parties welcome decision to remain on Level 1 lockdown.

2021 Nov 29 SABCNews

https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/political-parties-welcome-decision-to-remain-on-level-1-lockdown/


President Cyril Ramaphosa: Address on South Africa's response to Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 28 November 2021.

https://www.gov.za/speeches/president-cyril-ramaphosa-address-south-africas-response-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-28


RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS


Mabuza, Ernest. Court reserves judgment as religious bodies challenge lockdown laws.

2021 Nov 24 Times Live

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-11-24-court-reserves-judgment-as-religious-bodies-challenge-lockdown-laws/


Mabuza, Ernest. Temporary ban on faith-based gatherings ‘rational, reasonable and justifiable’, court hears.

2021 Nov 24 Times Live

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-11-24-temporary-ban-on-faith-based-gatherings-rational-reasonable-and-justifiable-court-hears/


SUPER SPREADER EVENTS


No charges over COVID-19 outbreak at Ischgl ski resort.

2021 Nov 24 Deutsche Welle (DW)

“Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they would not be filing criminal charges over a COVID-19 outbreak at a popular Austrian ski resort, where thousands of international tourists contracted the virus last year.

"The investigations into the spread of coronavirus in Ischgl in spring 2020 have been discontinued," the Innsbruck prosecutor's office said in a statement. "There is no charge. There is no evidence that anyone culpably did anything or failed to do anything to increase the risk of contagion."

Five people, including four local officials, had been under investigation in Innsbruck, located some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Ischgl.”

https://www.dw.com/en/austria-no-charges-over-covid-19-outbreak-at-ischgl-ski-resort/a-59918212


TRAVEL BANS


Child, Katharine and Kahn, Tamar. Ramaphosa: bans on travel ‘unscientific'.

2021 Nov 29 Business Day

“Task team on mandatory vaccination set up. No tighter restrictions in SA on the cards yet.”

https://bd.pressreader.com/article/281539409231209


Government engaging countries that have banned travel to South Africa.

2021 Nov 27 Business Tech

“The government says it has noted the announcements by several countries to institute temporary travel restrictions on South Africa and other countries in the region.”

https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/542114/government-engaging-countries-that-have-banned-travel-to-south-africa/


Jacobs, Yasmine. Restrictions and travel bans will not prevent the spread of Omicron variant, says Ramaphosa.

2021 Nov 27 IOL

“The prohibition of travel is not informed by science and will not be effective in preventing the spread of the Omicron Variant, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.”

https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/restrictions-and-travel-bans-will-not-prevent-the-spread-of-omicron-variant-says-ramaphosa-c85fde6b-6faa-4bea-9322-22a37b90bd7c


Sonjica. Nomahlubi. Travel bans punish SA for its excellent science, says international relations.

2021 Nov 27 Times Live

https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2021-11-27-travel-bans-punish-sa-for-its-excellent-science-says-international-relations/


Williams, Chad. Here’s a list of countries that have slapped a travel ban on SA so far.

2021 Nov 27 IOL

“As news of a more transmissible, highly infectious variant of Covid-19 made international headlines on Friday, several countries have taken bold steps to impose travel bans on South Africa and several other African countries, after SA scientists alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday to the new variant.”

https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/heres-a-list-of-countries-that-have-slapped-a-travel-ban-on-sa-so-far-37414221-4e3d-4b2e-a096-7707ccd6aa64


Yesmariam, Ahlisha and Botes, Johan. The latest guidance regarding immigration, travel and Home Affairs services.

2021 Nov 23 Baker McKenzie

“Recent regulations and guidance regarding travel, immigration and services offered by the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa are outlined below, including COVID-19 requirements for travel, visa applications, visa validity and extensions, the borders that are currently open and the services now offered by the offices of the Department of Home Affairs.”

https://insightplus.bakermckenzie.com/bm/employment-compensation/south-africa-the-latest-guidance-regarding-immigration-travel-and-home-affairs-services


VACCINES


Mandatory Vaccinations


Business for SA calls for vaccine mandates in the workplace and public access restrictions for the unvaccinated.

2021 Nov 28 Daily Maverick

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-28-business-for-sa-calls-for-vaccine-mandates-in-the-workplace-and-public-access-restrictions-for-the-unvaccinated/

‘Enforce jabs, not lockdowns’- Strong resistance likely to any new lockdown measures over Omicron.

2021 Nov 28 Sunday Times

https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2021-11-28-enforce-jabs-not-lockdowns-strong-resistance-likely-to-any-new-lockdown-measures-over-omicron/


Latest Vaccine Regulations and Labour Law Update / Presented by Andrew Goldberg, Larry Dave and Louis Podbielski. November 2021. (Webinar Recording)

“By the end of this webinar the attendee should:

  • Understand the implications of having mandatory policies on vaccinations both in the public and the business sphere

  • Understand what the implications are of immediate resignations for the employee and the employer and what can be done to avoid same

  • Have a broader knowledge on variety of topics and current issues in Labour Law

The webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Mandatory Vaccinations and International Case Law on mandatory vaccinations

  • Immediate Resignation

  • Current case Law and issues”

https://my.demio.com/ref/qq9b1lGX1t7FrHUQ


Mandatory vaccinations may be raised in Equality Court first.

2021 Nov 24 Medical Brief

https://www.medicalbrief.co.za/mandatory-vaccinations-may-be-raised-in-equality-court-first/


Maughan, Karyn. Vaccine mandates likely to survive legal challenge - but govt must ensure they reach all South Africans.

2021 Nov 30 News24

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/vaccine-mandates-likely-to-survive-legal-challenge-but-government-must-ensure-they-reach-all-of-us-20211130


Mthethwa, Cebelihle. Wits and UWC adopt mandatory Covid-19 vaccine policies for students and staff.

2021 Nov 27 News24

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/wits-and-uwc-adopt-mandatory-covid-19-vaccine-policies-for-students-and-staff-20211127


Pierce-Jones, Saya. Many university students on board with mandatory Covid-19 vaccines.

2021 Nov 27 Eyewitness news

https://ewn.co.za/2021/11/28/many-university-students-on-board-with-mandatory-covid-19-vaccines


Pijoos, Iavan. Business 4 SA pushes for mandatory vaccination as it seeks legal clarity.

2021 Nov 29 TimesLive

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-11-29-business-4-sa-pushes-for-mandatory-vaccination-as-it-seeks-legal-clarity/


South Africa’s vaccine mandates face legal challenge.

2021 Nov 29 BusinessTech

“In a letter sent to Ramaphosa on Monday, Afriforum said vaccine mandates are unjustifiable violations of personal freedoms and that it will oppose vaccine mandates if implemented by the government.”

https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/542476/south-africas-vaccine-mandates-face-legal-challenge/


The vexed issue of mandatory vaccinations.

2021 Nov 22 Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

“A number of prominent companies, acting on the consolidated direction, have moved to implement mandatory vaccination policies. Many of these companies have been threatened with legal action based on the constitutionality of mandatory vaccinations… In an effort to ensure that businesses are on the right side of the law, and to try to speed up the vaccination rate nationally, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has applied to the High Court for a declaratory order on mandatory vaccinations in the workplace.”

https://www.cliffedekkerhofmeyr.com/en/news/publications/2021/Employment/employment-alert-22-november-The-vexed-issue-of-mandatory-vaccinations.html


Zali, Marcia. Mandatory vaccination on cards as Ramaphosa keeps South Africa on level one lockdown.

2021 Nov 28 Mail & Guardian

https://mg.co.za/coronavirus-essentials/2021-11-28-mandatory-vaccination-on-cards-as-ramaphosa-keeps-south-africa-on-level-one-lockdown/


Passports


Swiss voters back law behind Covid vaccine certificate.

2021 Nov 28 The Guardian

“After tense campaign, early results show about two-thirds in favour of law giving legal basis for Covid pass.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/28/tensions-swiss-vote-covid-vaccine-certificate-law


Date posted: 30 November 2021

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