CORONAVIRUS FAQs | All your questions answered

(Photo by Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle)

Please note: You can view the Government Gazette containing the final list of regulations regarding the lockdown here.

The South African Legal Information Institute also has a comprehensive list of all Covid-19 related government documents here. 

30 Mar 20:54 QUESTION: Will I be able to walk my dog? What about in an estate?


SAPS have clarified on 29 March that this is NOT allowed. National police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo has said that the national disaster declaration is clear that people be confined to their place of residence, unless they are an essential service, buying goods, collecting a social grant, or seeking medical attention. 

Naidoo said the roads, parks and other amenities of the estate do not form part of anyone's "place of residence", and is therefore strictly prohibited. 

Read more
30 Mar 08:49

QUESTION: Who can I call if I have a complaint against the police?

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has issued emergency numbers for complaints against the police during the Covid-19 lockdown. IPID's services are still ongoing during the lockdown, spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said.

A limited number of investigators are on standby in all nine provinces, and provincial management will ensure that their work continues. 

The numbers to lay a complaint against the police are: 

Eastern Cape: 082 592 9888;

Free State: 063 225 6081;

Gauteng: 076 455 5718;

Limpopo: 078 871 4811;

KwaZulu-Natal: 079 895 2741;

Mpumalanga: 072 881 4196;

Northern Cape:  064 624 8203;

North West: 078 163 6874;

Western Cape: 073 890 1269. 

27 Mar 08:10 QUESTION: What if I can't pay my rent during lockdown?

In this unprecedented situation, it is natural that certain tenants will look to their landlords for assistance. The landlord’s position is, however, precarious, despite a popular misconception that landlords hold unlimited funds or can afford to withstand non-payment of rentals.

The below information serves as a guide for tenants and landlords in these challenging times. One must regard the entire contents of this article to understand the legal position and, with understanding of the other side’s position, hopefully reach an amicable resolution to protect the symbiotic relationship between landlord and tenant.

Read the full story here
27 Mar 08:08 QUESTION: Are there certain hours that we can go to the shops, doctor, etc?

No, you may go whenever these services are open, but please limit these trips to as few as possible.
26 Mar 18:55 QUESTION: Can I take my pet to the vet?

Essential and emergency travel is expected to be specifically allowed during the lockdown, in general terms.

On Tuesday the government confirmed that veterinary services will continue to operate.

Necessary trips for pet food are also likely to be covered under rules around buying groceries.

26 Mar 18:53 QUESTION: My company has to close down. Can I claim back?

Employees at companies that have to close their doors during lockdown may receive payments from government under a new scheme.

The amounts paid will be a percentage of your salary, according to a legislated sliding scale from 38% (highest earners) to 60% (lowest earners).

Read more here
26 Mar 13:40

QUESTION: How UIF money will help workers during lockdown?

As anxious South African workers, who are facing layoffs and loss of income during the lockdown period, await guidance on government help during this time, there is now an indication of how the Unemployment Insurance Fund will help pay their salaries.

Read more here
26 Mar 12:46 QUESTION: How do I register my business as an essential service?

South African businesses are now able to apply online and automatically download a certificate to prove they are essential service providers, as the country gears up to implement a 21-day national lockdown. 

Full details here
26 Mar 12:01 QUESTION: What about divorced parents? Can I transport my children between homes for visitation?

The government has urged parents to think very carefully about their children and themselves regarding exposure to the virus. They have acknowledged that visitation is a complex issue, but have called on parents to try keep their children in one place for the lockdown.

Update: Minister Bheki Cele in an interview on Radio Jacaranda on 26 March said: Parents who share custody of children should understand that the children should not be transported from one parent to the other unless it is for medical reasons “we are living in extraordinary times and it is what it is.”

Read more below. 

Co-parenting during Covid-19 - This is what we know so far
26 Mar 09:18
26 Mar 07:47

QUESTION: Do I need to produce a document to obtain essential goods such as food and medical supplies?

You do not need a special document to leave your home to acquire basic goods, Chrispin Phiri, spokesperson of the Government Communication and Information System, confirmed to News24. 

Read more
26 Mar 07:45 QUESTION: Can I drive my car during lockdown?

Private motor vehicles may be used only for purposes of rendering essential services, obtaining essential goods, seeking medical attention, funeral services and to receive payment of grants.

This is provided that such vehicle carries no more than 50% of the licensed capacity and all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and the limitation of exposure of persons to Covid-19 are adhered to.
26 Mar 06:43

QUESTION: Will rubbish still be collected?

Yes. Refuse collection is considered essential work under the lockdown. Municipalities have also been directed to focus on extraordinary cleansing and sanitation of public facilities.
26 Mar 06:33 QUESTION: How do I know if I am an essential worker? What documents do I need?

The full list of essential workers is listed at the link below (page 10). The form is on page 11 and 12. 

Click here
25 Mar 21:25 LIST | The dos and don'ts during the national lockdown

Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned any person who contravenes the regulations of the nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday will be guilty of a criminal offence and will be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both.

News24 has compiled a list of what you can and cannot do.
25 Mar 20:38 QUESTION: What will I be able to buy during lockdown?

Stores will be expected to stick to basic goods. Government’s list of essential goods includes toilet paper, hand sanitiser, all-purpose cleaners, baby formula, disposable nappies, cooking oils, wheat flour, rice, maize meal, pasta, sugar, long-life milk as well canned and frozen vegetables and meat.

Read more here
25 Mar 20:25

QUESTION: Can I walk/jog/cycle outdoors?

The short answer is no. While government have yet to officially comment on this, the main directive of the lockdown remains the same: only leave home to undertake essential trips such as to get food, seek medical care or access supplies.

Outdoor workouts do not fall under the list of essential movements. 

You can view the list here. (Page 6, 11B)
25 Mar 17:33 QUESTION: Will alcohol be sold?

No. No alcohol will be sold during the lockdown and people may not transport alcohol from one point to another.