DearSA Awaits New Court Date Against Health Regulations
DearSA and AfriForum’s case against the Minister of Health is not going ahead next week Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This comes after the Minister of Health withdrew the interim COVID regulations when the National State of Disaster ended.
The case lost its initial urgency when the Minister withdrew the interim regulations. Our legal team has written to the Judge President to ask for a new date and is waiting to hear back from them.
Since DearSA brought our case as a normal application and not on an urgent basis, the difficulties currently facing some other applicants do not affect us.
The Minister of Health argues that the case is moot since he withdrew the interim regulations and they are no longer in force. We contest this. Our reasons for arguing that the case is not moot are:
- The Health Act Regulations (which are practically identical to the interim regulations) are still open for public comment.
- The process the Minister of Health followed was unconstitutional and incorrect. And hence it is a constitutional issue and cannot simply be dismissed as moot.
Just because the Minister of Health withdrew the interim regulations does not undo his decision to put them into force. Hence the court must still rule on the case and decide if that decision was correct. DearSA will communicate our new court dates as soon as we receive them.
One small victory, one giant leap forward.
The Department of Health has issued a notice to withdraw the “limited” regulations that were adopted without public participation. These include;
- Mask mandates
- Social distancing
- Venue capacities
However, the DRAFT regulations are still on the cards and open for public comment until 5 August.
Interim results from 199,998 participants – click images to enlarge
STATEMENTS FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS
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IN THE MEDIA
- Dept. of Health media statement – Health Minister extends public consultation period for health regulations
- MyBroadband – Here are South Africa’s proposed lockdown regulations to replace the state of disaster
- Businesstech – New lockdown rules for South Africa to replace state of disaster – here’s what you should know
The amended regulations include:
- Mandatory medical examinations, isolation, and treatments for people with notifiable medical conditions, with an option to self-isolate for those with Internet access
- Mandatory face masks for indoor gatherings and public transport
- 1-metre physical distancing
- Employers to encourage work-from-home where necessary and restrict face-to-face meetings
- Travellers entering and leaving South Africa must have a vaccine certificate, or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours
- Hand sanitisers must be placed at all entrances of public places to promote hand hygiene
- Restrictions on funeral attendance — During Covid–19, funerals are limited to 100 people.
- Restrictions on night vigils and after-funeral gatherings — Banned during Covid–19
- Restrictions on attendance at other gatherings — 50% of venue capacity, if attendees have vaccine certificates. Without proof of vaccination, attendance is limited to 1,000 indoors and 2,000 outdoors.
- The regulations also allow further restrictions to be implemented through other government departments.
- The Department of Health may give advice relating to curfews, a national lockdown, sports, economic activity, public transportation, religious and cultural practices, and the sale of alcohol.
Once the regulations are approved, the Department of Health said they would be implemented without being tabled in parliament, since it is subordinate legislation already delegated to the minister.