Level 4 lockdown
(Getty)
  • When South Africa moved to Level 2 lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised that would be reviewed within two weeks.
  • That deadline – made official in regulations – expired on Sunday. It was not met.
  • Instead, minister Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma published a last-second amendment pushing the date out by another week, to 3 October.
  • There appears to be no reason she can't do the same thing again, when that date arrives.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa was moving down a lockdown level, from Level 3 to Level 2, in a mid-September address to the nation, he offered hope that even less strict rules could be just around the corner.

"These measures will be reviewed in two weeks time depending on the state of the pandemic," he said, after detailing the new curfew, limits on gatherings, and rules for alcohol sales.

That promise was made formal in regulations published on the same night, on 12 September with just a little more detail: the regulations would be "reviewed and amended where necessary", and that would be done within two weeks of their publication, so the count would start on that day, said co-operative governance minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

That deadline fell on Sunday, 26 September.

But instead of a review of lockdown, the government simply pushed out the deadline.

In a notice signed by Dlamini Zuma on the same long-weekend Sunday, she rubbed out that 12 September sub-section and replaced it with a one-week countdown starting immediately.

That sets the new review date for Adjusted Alert Level 2 – with the expectation that it would be reduced to Level 1 – on Sunday, 3 October.

However, there appears to be no reason the deadline can not again be extended, by the same simple method of decree, either before that date or at the last second again.

After rapid evolution over the last 15 months, Alert Level 1 is now expected to maintain the requirement to wear a mask while in public, and to demand Covid-19 tests from everyone entering South Africa, but to have little further impact on daily life.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.