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Covid-19 lockdown: some facilities are open ... but just not yet

Covid-19 lockdown: some facilities are open ... but just not yet

by Gerhard Papenfus

The bureaucrats involved in the detail surrounding Covid-19 regulations, really need to wake up and take responsibility.

Last night, the amended lockdown regulations, pertaining to restaurants, casinos, theatres, cinema’s and conference facilities, were published. Although the amendments effectively only confirm what the President announced on Wednesday, 17 July, it took the bureaucrats a further eight days to confirm that by means of a meaningless gazette.

The regulations stipulate that, although these sectors are permitted to open, they may only do so provided that they comply with the relevant social distancing and safety measures. However, these measures are not yet known as they are still to be gazetted. Therefore, the amendments by the Minister have no practical effect as these establishments will still not be able to open as they do not know what they need to comply with.

While businesses are severely prejudiced by the lockdown, there is an astonishing lack of urgency on the side of the bureaucrats; they do not feel the pinch. Another contributing factor is the absence of a plan on how to open up these sectors, without looking foolish.

What we experience in this instance, once again, proves that South Africa is plagued with an overstaffed, overpaid and under-productive public service. Aligning the public service to the national interest, in terms of size, cost and output, is a national priority. The political will, however, does not exist.