This one will be a quick read.
On 15 March 2020, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma declared a National State of Disaster ("NSD") as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Subsequent to the declaration of the NSD, several regulations have been issued to control and limit the movement of people, but more importantly, to control and limit the sale of "non-essential" items and the operation of the majority of businesses in South Africa.
These regulations were issued in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 ("the Act"), for the purpose of: assisting and protecting the public; providing relief to the public; protecting property; preventing or combatting disruption; or dealing with the destructive and other effects of the disaster.
For weeks, most people were confined to their homes and businesses prevented from operating. Several businesses closed shop as a direct result of them being prevented to continue to trade. Now the question is... are these regulations lawful, and if so, do they serve the purpose provided for in Section 27(2) of the Act.
After considering the regulations and measuring them against the provisions of the Act, we are of the opinion that a number of these regulations (especially concerning the sale of "non-essential" items), are not permitted in terms of the Act and/or do not serve the purpose provided for in Section 27(2) of the Act.
If you are the owner of a business and the NSD regulations had an impact on your revenue, why are you still tolerating the Government's unlawful control over your business. Take action now and contact us immediately.
P.S. If you are reading this and your business already closed its doors, the Government can be held liable for the damages you suffered, if such damages directly resulted from unlawful regulations.
Rapport reported on 03/05/2020, that Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, said earlier this week, that he is opposed to unrestricted e-commerce, because it is "uncompetitive" and inaccessible to poorer communities.
The restrictions on e-commerce specifically, serves no legitimate purpose. Section 27(2) of the Act, limits restrictive regulations to the following purposes:
- Assisting and protecting the public;
- Providing relief to the public;
- Protecting property;
- Preventing or combatting disruption; or
- Dealing with the destructive and other effects of the disaster.
In our opinion, e-commerce should be unrestricted.