This note serves to outline the present regulatory framework pertaining to Alert level (AL)3 and to highlight the areas of interest and/ or concern for members.

Since adopting a risk-adjusted strategy to COVID-19, the South African government has gradually lifted restrictions on economic activity by promulgating new regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (the regulations), amending the regulations on 28 May and 25 June 2020 and issuing several sector-specific directions to manage the safe reopening of the economy.

As amended, the Regulations are structured in three broad parts:

(i)                 general measures governing the national response to the state of disaster in overarching terms;

(ii)               a chapter setting out the law applicable under Alert Level (AL) 4; and

(iii)             a further chapter dealing with the situation under AL3.  (AL5 is not dealt with explicitly, but the list of essential services that was applicable during the initial lockdown period is still appended to the Regulations as Annexure D).

The Minister is empowered to determine which of AL’s 1 to 5 apply at national, provincial, metropolitan or district level or in “hotspots” and the Regulations provide for different AL’s to apply to different areas.  Conceivably, therefore, areas with higher levels of infection and less capacity in their health facilities may revert to AL4 or AL5. Thus far, however, there is no indication that this will occur.

Any shift to a different AL in any area is enforceable only after the Minister has published a notice to that effect in the Government Gazette.  If that happens, different regulations will be applicable in different geographical areas.

We encourage members to continue to be aware of this possibility and of the possibility that the Regulations will continue to be amended and supplemented from time to time as the situation unfolds.

To read the full guidance note, please go to