Lockdown: Spaza shops and informal traders are free to trade

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

All spaza shops and street vendors have been given the green light to operate their businesses.

On Thursday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced informal traders could again start earning a living during the lockdown.

She warned some of the 21-day lockdown regulations could change, with some being relaxed and others tightened.

"We have learned a few lessons from the past week of the shutdown. We have realised that spaza shops were supposed to be open, but for some reasons some were asked to close. We are clarifying that all spaza shops should be opened. We have included informal food traders. 

Free to trade

"Informal food traders must get a permit from their ward councillors or their municipality. They are free to trade."

Dlamini-Zuma apologised to South Africans affected by the travel ban from one province to the other for funerals.

"Even though funerals are not a prohibited gathering of 50 people. We have not said anything in the regulations about how people should move to the funerals because there was a prohibition of movement between provinces, this then affected those who wanted to move from one province to the other for funerals."

She said close relatives of the deceased were allowed to attend and should stick to the number of people allowed.

Night vigils are also prohibited.

"Funerals are like church services. Night vigils are worse because people get very close in a small space. Undertakers are not included in the number of people allowed to attend. In rural areas, those who dig graves are not part of the 50. 

"You have to have a permit from a magistrate, police station commander to travel to another province."

On the hospitality sector, she said not all establishments were closed during the shutdown because some were being used as quarantine sites.

ALSO READ: Number of people positive Covid-19 cases has increased by 82 to 1 462 - Mkhize

"There are lodges, hotels and guest houses that have been quarantining people and not allowed to bring in new people. You are allowed to visit [them] if you can't stay with the relatives of the deceased."

Regulations around the closure of borders were still in place, Dlamini-Zuma said, with the only exception being the movement of essential goods going to neighbouring countries.

"There are some South Africans who are stuck across our borders and if there is a need for them to be repatriated they can be repatriated and will be quarantined for 14 days when they touch down in South Africa," she added.

"Foreigners who are also stuck here when the lockdown started and want to go back to their countries, they are also allowed to be repatriated," said Dlamini-Zuma.

There is now a regulation that will allow health officials and tracers to track the history of people who had tested positive and whom they had been in contact with via cellphones.

This move was not to spy on anyone, but to assist tracing teams to reach people who were in contact with a Covid-19 patient more speedily and to raise awareness to those who may be oblivious, she added.

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