• From midnight on Thursday 26 March until midnight on Thursday 16 April, all South Africans will have to stay at home.

  • The categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown are the following: health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic.

  • Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant.

  • Temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards will be identified for homeless people. Sites are also being identified for quarantine and self-isolation for people who cannot self-isolate at home.

  • All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and healthcare providers.

  • Provision will be made for essential transport services to continue, including transport for essential staff and for patients who need to be managed elsewhere.

  • South African citizens and residents arriving from high-risk countries will automatically be placed under quarantine for 14 days.

  • Non-South Africans arriving on flights from high-risk countries we prohibited a week ago will be turned back.

  • International flights to Lanseria Airport will be temporarily suspended.

  • International travellers who arrived in South Africa after 9 March 2020 from high-risk countries will be confined to their hotels until they have completed a 14-day period of quarantine.

  • Following consultation with social partners, we have set up a Solidarity Fund, which South African businesses, organisations and individuals, and members of the international community, can contribute to.

  • We are concerned that there are a number of businesses that are selling certain goods at excessively high prices. This cannot be allowed.

  • A safety net is being developed to support persons in the informal sector, where most businesses will suffer as a result of this shutdown. More details will be announced as soon as we have completed the work of assistance measures that will be put in place.

  • To alleviate congestion at payment points, old age pensions and disability grants will be available for collection from 30 and 31 March 2020, while other categories of grants will be available for collection from 1 April 2020.

  • We are in consultation on a proposal for a special dispensation for companies that are in distress because of Covid-19. Through this proposal, employees will receive wage payment through the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme, which will enable companies to pay employees directly during this period and avoid retrenchment.

  • Any employee who falls ill through exposure at their workplace will be paid through the Compensation Fund.

  • Commercial banks have been exempted from provisions of the Competition Act to enable them to develop common approaches to debt relief and other necessary measures.

  • Many large companies that are currently closed have accepted their responsibility to pay workers affected. We call on larger businesses, in particular, to take care of their workers during this period.

  • In the event that it becomes necessary, we will utilise the reserves within the UIF system to extend support to those workers in SMEs and other vulnerable firms who are faced with loss of income and whose companies are unable to provide support. Details of these will be made available within the next few days.

  • Using the tax system, we will provide a tax subsidy of up to R500 per month for the next four months for those private sector employees earning below R6,500 under the Employment Tax Incentive. This will help over four million workers.

  • The South African Revenue Service will also work towards accelerating the payment of employment tax incentive reimbursements from twice a year to monthly to get cash into the hands of compliant employers as soon as possible.

  • Tax compliant businesses with a turnover of less than R50-million will be allowed to delay 20% of their pay-as-you-earn liabilities over the next four months and a portion of their provisional corporate income tax payments without penalties or interest over the next six months. This intervention is expected to assist over 75,000 small and medium-term enterprises.

  • We are exploring the temporary reduction of employer and employee contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund and employer contributions to the Skill Development Fund.

  • The Department of Small Business Development has made over R500-million available immediately to assist small and medium enterprises that are in distress through a simplified application process.

  • The Industrial Development Corporation has put a package together with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition of more than R3-billion for industrial funding to address the situation of vulnerable firms and to fast-track financing for companies critical to our efforts to fight the virus and its economic impact.

  • The Department of Tourism has made an additional R200-million available to assist SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions.

 

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