Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on 21 April.
  • Less strict rules for retailers and e-commerce under Alert Level 4 are coming up soon, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.
  • But he provided no further detail in his address to the nation.
  • Exercise restrictions too are due to be reduced.
  • Much of the country will likely move to Level 3 at the end of May, Ramaphosa said.
  • For more stories go to

Restrictions on retail and e-commerce during Alert Level 4 will be reduced by new rules soon, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday night – but he provided no further detail.

Ramaphosa spent much of his address to the nation calling on South Africans to adhere to measures such as hand washing and wearing face masks, justifying South Africa's initial hard lockdown, and promising consultation and transparency.

By contrast he used only a handful of sentences to speak about new measures and regulations.

See also: You’ll only be able to buy booze at Level 3 - and only on some weekday mornings

This, he said, will include lesser restrictions on exercise, and a likely move to Alert Level 3 for much of the country, except for the local areas where the rate of infection is high, at the end of May.

But before that, new rules will be published under the present Level 4, "to expand permitted business activities in a number of sectors", he said. 

He mentioned only retail and e-commerce.

See also: Here is the entire list of clothing and bedding you can now buy again under new Level 4 rules

Ramaphosa also provided a mea culpa on lockdown measures, admitting some had been unclear, and contradictory. 

Some of government's interventions had "evoked a lot of anger and opposition in all of you, in many of you, rather," he said.

"Where we have made mistakes, and as I said, we are traversing uncharted territory... we will make mistakes, but I can assure you we will always seek to correct those mistakes," he said.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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