Dear Colleagues and Members of the PIA,
As we anticipate relaxing of certain regulations in terms of the upcoming level 3 lockdown, we have been waiting for official publication of these rules before responding to the numerous enquiries we received from our members. These regulations were published yesterday afternoon (see httpss://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202005/43364gon608s.pdf) and we have prepared a summary below, including links to the source materials. Please bear in mind that this is our interpretation of the regulations, and it is still advisable for you to become familiar with the source materials to ensure your circumstances are addressed.
• As far as we can ascertain, most businesses, including all construction, may resume under the level 3 lockdown regulations, subject to strict health, hygiene, and distancing conditions. There are businesses which are still prohibited from operating, but these are in the leisure, travel and grooming industries, and should not affect the construction sector.
• The CIPC certificate seems not to be a requirement any longer from Level 3.
• Level 4 social distancing, health protocols, and protocols for getting your office ready are still applicable, and work from home is still encouraged where possible, especially for employees over 60 or with co-morbidities. Please refer to Occupational Health and Safety directives (httpss://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202004/43257gon479.pdf) as issued under level 4. These have not been superseded, and as far as we can determine are still valid. For ease of reference you can also look at httpss://neasa.co.za/covid-19-return-to-work-toolkit/ which unpacks these requirements in easily digestible topics
• Travel permits are required https://www.dti.gov.za/news2020/Guideline_Permit_Essential_Services.pdf This permit is basically the same as required for level 4. These need to be issued by your employer and stamped with the company stamp. If you are self-employed, you should be able to issue it to yourself under your company/trading name. If you are an employer, you will need to issue this to all your staff, including domestic staff and gardeners.
• Tshwane has been officially declared a hotspot, but there is no mention that this will affect its lockdown level. There is provision for the government to impose further restrictions on hotspots areas, and that travel in and out of these areas may be restricted
• It is unclear whether the travel permit will be enough to travel between the different metropolitan areas / hotspots.
• Please also refer to httpss://www.gov.za/coronavirus/guidelines for any other regulations and directives issued that may be applicable
In principle, we have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, our employees, and colleagues, as well as a public responsibility to all we come to contact with. We need to apply common sense and be responsible to those around us so that we can move forward and re-gain those civil liberties we have always taken for granted. It is of utmost importance that employers and employees alike take all precautions to avoid putting themselves or others at risk.
The latest communication from the City of Tshwane Built Environment and Enforcement with regards plan submissions, etc. is that they unfortunately will not be open for submissions on Monday, 1 June 2020. According to the information relayed to our office is that the heads of departments will be at the offices on Monday in order to prepare for opening. We have no idea as to what the expected date of opening will be, but please be assured that we will keep you informed.
The PIA Office is also operating from the office at 70% and 30% from home. We are almost phased in completely as staff has been operating from the office and home for a month already. Please ensure that you wear a mask if you need to pop into the office for documents or any other reason. All meetings are still conducted via ZOOM.
Bring on Monday … We can do this responsibly.