After much hardship, small businesses closing doors and many South Africans going to bed at night hungry, the Gauteng High Court has declared the Alert Level 4 and Alert Level 3 Lockdown regulations as being unconstitutional and invalid.
The court suspended the declaration of invalidity for a period of 14 days. This means that the Alert Level 3 regulations remain in operation for now.
The court has further directed the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in consultation with the relevant Ministers to review, amend and republish the regulations with “due consideration to the limitation each regulation has on the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights”.
The ban on the sale of cigarettes remains in place for now.
The ruling is a lifeline for hairdressers and other small businesses who have been unable to trade since March, leaving them in a precarious situation.
Jeffreys Bay, whose economy has been built around small business has been particularly hard hit and its sad to see the number of shops that have permanently closed in the Main Beach area of town.
The Regulations have also created mass confusion, with rules like recreational fishing allowed but beaches still being closed.
The South African Government will make a further statement once it has fully studied the judgement. This could well include the Government appealing the decision of the High Court.
Photo: Robbie Irlam/JBay Winterfest