It’s been a confusing 48 hours or so for South Africans, after the gazetted Level 3 lockdown laws made glaring omissions regarding laws on face coverings and masks. Earlier on Thursday afternoon, however, the government has moved to rectify its mistake – and who better to handle a crisis than Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma… right?

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma alters the lockdown laws

NDZ has made several additions to the new lockdown laws. Usually, that would mean she’s banned cigarettes or amended the definition of a beach. However, this time around, it seems her last-minute intervention is a welcome one. The COGTA minister was bombarded with requests to clear up an issue regarding the age limits for mask exemptions.

The updated regulations on Tuesday missed out the paragraph which states children under six don’t need a face covering. Therefore, it was to be assumed that no exemptions were allowed, creating a law that would see infants and toddlers require masks at this stage of lockdown – and that’s a nightmare that parents simply don’t need.

Do children under six need to wear masks? No they don’t…

Thankfully, common sense has prevailed this week. Dlamini-Zuma and her office have categorically asserted that those aged six and under DO NOT need to wear masks at ANY stage of lockdown. The official government advice now reads:

“The wearing of a face mask is mandatory for every person when in a public place, excluding a child under the age of six years. Any person who fails to comply with a verbal instruction from an enforcement officer to wear their mask commits an offence and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or six months imprisonment.” | Level 3 State of Disaster laws

Dlamini-Zuma signs off on regulations for banks

But wait, there’s more! It seems that these rules really were pushed through without much revision on Tuesday, because Dlamini-Zuma has also had to publish updated advice for banks. Guidance on queue systems, ATMs, and third party responsibilities had all lapsed between Tuesday and today – but the following regulations have now been restored:

  • – All banks must ensure their ATMs provide hand sanitiser for customers to use at the site.
  • – Furthermore, banks must ensure that people in queues to use ATMs are separated by 1.5 metres.
  • – Finally, third parties which are home to these cash machines must comply with the rules mentioned above.

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Presh JM Reporter

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