South Africa

Disaster Management Act, 2002

COGTA COVID-19 Disaster Response Directions, 2020

Government Notice R399 of 2020

  1. [Amended by COGTA COVID-19 Disaster Response Directions, 2020: Amendment (Government Notice R432 of 2020) on 30 March 2020]

  2. [Amended by COGTA COVID-19 Disaster Response Directions, 2020: Amendment (Government Notice 510 of 2020) on 7 May 2020]

  3. [Amended by COGTA COVID-19 Disaster Response Directions, 2020: Amendment (Government Notice 748 of 2020) on 3 July 2020]

I, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, hereby, in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), issue directions in the schedule hereto, to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa.

1. Background

1.1In consideration of the magnitude and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabinet in its special Cabinet meeting held on 15 March 2020, resolved to declare a National State of Disaster, which was duly declared under Government Gazette No. 43096. This was followed by the National Address by the President of the Republic of South Africa, during which address the President announced extra ordinary measures to curb and contain the spread of the virus.
1.2On 18 March 2020, I issued Regulations in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) (hereafter referred to as the COVID-19 Regulations) regarding the steps necessary to prevent an escalation of the disaster or to alleviate, contain and minimize the effects of the disaster.
1.3On 23 March 2020 the President of the Republic announced an escalation of the measures to combat COVID - 19, which include an initial 21 Day Lockdown.


2. Purpose

To direct municipalities and provinces in respect of the following matters in response to COVID-19:(a)Provision of water and sanitation services;(b)Hygiene education, communication and awareness;(c)Waste management, cleansing and sanitization;(d)Municipal public spaces, facilities and offices;(e)Customary initiations and cultural practices(f)Isolation and quarantine;(g)Monitoring and enforcement;(h)Municipal operations and governance;(i)Institutional arrangements and development of COVID-19 response plans; and(j)Precautionary measures to mitigate employee health and safety risks.


3. Scope

These Directions apply to all provinces, municipalities, and where indicated, institutions of Traditional Leadership.


4. Authorisation

These Directions are issued in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 following the Declaration of a National State of Disaster and published in Government Gazette No. 43096 on 15 March 2020 and must be read together with the COVID-19 Regulations published under Government Notice No. 318 on 18 March 2020, and COVID-19 Regulations on the 21-day lockdown period published on 25 March 2020.


5. Definitions

In these Directions, any word or expression bears the meaning assigned to it in the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000), the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998), the Disaster Management Act, 2002, the National House of Traditional Leaders Act, 2009 (Act No. 22 of 2009), the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Act, 2009 (Act No.23 of 2009) and COVID-19 Regulations, unless the context indicates otherwise."COGTA" means the national Departments responsible for Cooperative Governance Traditional Affairs."Command Council" means the executive authority that has been put in place to oversee the government response to COVID-19."COVID-19 risk profile" means a depiction of risk and its subcomponents spatially and temporally with data on the hazard, vulnerability and capacity characteristics."COVID-19 Regulations" means any regulations issued in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act No 57 of 2002 in pursuance of the nation -wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic."hotspot areas" means high risk areas for spreading the disease considering socio-economic vulnerabilities (such as overcrowded settlements, informal settlements with minimal access to services; high poverty level areas), communal areas, areas with limited or no access to water and sanitation services, and areas with high numbers of confirmed infections."initiation" means any customary or cultural practice of traditional communities that is used by such communities as a rite of passage to adulthood in respect of male or female children."initiation school" means any place where the customary or cultural practices relating to initiation."institutions of Traditional Leadership" means those institutions or structures established in terms of the National House of Traditional Leaders Act, 2009 (Act No. 22 of 2009), and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Act, 2009 \(Act No.23 of 2009)."Minister" means the national minister responsible for the Departments responsible for Cooperative Governance Traditional Affairs."potable water" means water that is treated and safe to drink or to use for food preparation."sanitation services" means the collection, removal, disposal or purification of human excreta, domestic wastewater, sewage and effluent resulting from the use of water for commercial purposes."social distancing" means limiting personal contact as a measure to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection, and others who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission, morbidity and ultimately, mortality."Traditional Leader" means leaders defined in terms of the National House of Traditional Leaders Act, , as amended2009 (Act No. 22 of 2009), and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, No 41 of 2003 as amended


6. Directions

6.1For the duration of the state of disaster for COVID-19, all Premiers, Members of Executive Councils responsible for local government in the provinces, the President of the South African Local Government Association, all Executive Mayors / Mayors and institutions of Traditional Leadership shall take all reasonable measures to facilitate and implement the measures to the extent provided herein.
6.2Provision of water and sanitation services6.2.1.Municipalities are directed to:(a)Ensure that communities are provided with the necessary means to prevent transmission, whilst preventing disruptions in services that are rendered through both municipal programmes and customer interaction.(b)Provide potable water and sanitation services to high population density settlements, rural communities, informal settlements.(c)Provide other appropriate means, like water tankers, boreholes and storage tanks in water constrained communities that have limited access to municipal water supply.(d)Ensure that, in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, water and sanitation is available at public facilities and public transport points.
6.3Communication, awareness, and hygiene education6.3.1.Municipalities and their officials and councillors, as well as institutions of Traditional Leadership, should play an important role in ensuring wide-spread and consistent messaging and communication.6.3.2.Municipalities and institutions of Traditional Leadership are directed to:(a)Prepare and roll out awareness campaigns on COVID-19, using available media platforms (print, radio, and social media), to the public within their areas of jurisdiction.(b)Ensure that communication materials include details on prevention methods, identification, infection control, local reporting channels and emergency contacts in order to raise public awareness and encourage appropriate preventative behaviours and practices.(c)Conduct advocacy and awareness programs on the prevention and control of COVID-19 and establish communication protocols for the reporting of cases relating to employees, councillors and traditional leaders.(d)In partnership with the Health Authorities, provide soaps, sanitizers, facial masks, latex gloves and other materials or equipment necessary for prevention of person-to-person transmission in areas where municipal staff and councillors have direct contact at public service centres and facilities (i.e. municipal offices, clinics, etc.)(e)In partnership with the health authorities, non-governmental organisations, community and faith-based organisations and the business community, provide orientation and information to Councillors, Ward Committees, Community Development Workers (CDWs), Traditional Leaders, Religious Leaders, Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers and Community Works Programme (CWP) participants to enable them to play the role of health promoters in their communities and enable uniform, non-alarmist and consistent communication with the public.
6.4Waste management, cleansing and sanitization6.4.1.The control of the transmission of the virus will require extra- ordinary cleansing and sanitization of public facilities.6.4.2.Municipalities are directed to:(a)Identify hotspot areas and mitigation measures within their areas of jurisdiction.(b)In collaboration with relevant health authorities, establish capacitated and well- equipped response teams (e.g. with pressure cleansers and spray equipment, anti-biochemical protective clothing) who could be deployed to provide cleansing and sanitization of places and facilities that could be at high risk for the transmission of the virus.(c)Share information on the potential hotspot areas with local, provincial and national structures and institutions for integrated responses.(d)Ensure that the relevant protocols are followed when disposing of hazardous waste (equipment, masks, gloves, etc.).
6.5Municipal public spaces, facilities and offices6.5.1.Control measures must be put in place in relation to public spaces, facilities and offices to ensure social distancing to prevent the risk of transmission.6.5.2.Municipalities are directed to immediately:(a)Close all public spaces and facilities that do not provide essential services as follows:(i)Swimming pools - all swimming pools to be immediately closed.(ii)Beach bathing - bathing at all beaches to be prohibited with immediate effect.(iii)Libraries - all municipal libraries to be closed.(iv)Community halls and recreation centres to be closed for community events and functions.(v)Museums and art galleries all municipal museums and art galleries to be closed.(vi)All markets including street vendors must be closed, other than food markets.(vii)Public parks should be closed.(viii)Events - all municipal events to be suspended indefinitely(b)Monitor social gatherings as follows:(i)Cemeteries, crematoria and funerals during funerals, affected families must be encouraged to observe recommended hygiene practices, limit the number of mourners in accordance with the regulations. The handling and disposal of human remains brought about as a result of COVID-19, must be done in terms of the guidelines and protocols that have been developed by the National Department of Health.(ii)Community gatherings, other than funerals, must be cancelled and stopped immediately.(iii)Wedding receptions and celebrations must be cancelled for the duration of the lockdown and all periods of restricted movement.(c)Stop the issuing of permits for marches, protests and the handover of petitions
6.6Isolation and quarantine6.6.1.Municipalities are directed to:(a)Work with the provincial departments to identify suitable quarantine and isolation sites within their jurisdiction.(b)Implement provisions for quarantine, self-quarantine and isolation, as guided by the protocols and guidelines of the Department of Health.6.6.2.Municipalities are directed to:(a)Monitor and control social distancing in communities.(b)Work in collaboration with the South African Police Service, South African National Defence Force, and other law enforcement agencies to stop social and public gatherings, other than funerals.(c)Adhere to the separate regulations pertaining to funerals.
6.7Municipal operations and governance6.7.1Municipalities and municipal entities are required to perform their various statutory functions, including the adoption of integrated development plans (IDPs) and operations relating to municipal services and revenue collection.6.7.2When rendering municipal services, municipalities and municipal entities must ensure that there is strict adherence to all COVID-19 public health and containment prescripts, especially those relating to gatherings, physical distancing, health and safety.6.7.3Subject to paragraph 6.7.2, normal face-to-face council and staff meetings may be conducted, where necessary, but it is recommended that all meetings should still be conducted through electronic means, if possible.6.7.4Furthermore, municipalities and municipal entities are directed to—(a)convene meetings of council and committees of council to consider—(i)any council-related business, including the adoption of IDPs; and(ii)matters relating to the provision of critical municipal services such as roads and storm water, electricity, municipal health services, municipal environmental services and waste management services;(b)ensure that communities are consulted using virtual platforms and alternative methods of consultation, instead of contact meetings, to provide comments on the draft IDP and Budget;(c)ensure that meetings of the Development Tribunal and other structures performing similar quasi-judicial functions are held, only where necessary;(d)render the following services:(i)Payment for licenses;(ii)issuing of licenses of vehicles, renewal of drivers licenses and roadworthy certificates;(iii)municipal services, such as water and electricity, property rates, refuse removal, rental payments, collections, etc;(iv)issuing of clearance certificates; and(v)meter reading;(e)undertake emergency procurement within the framework of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), and the applicable COVID-19 Regulations and National Treasury notices or instructions;(f)report all procurement undertaken during the period of the national state of disaster to council meetings;(g)submit reports in compliance with section 24(4) to 24(8) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002.6.7.5Municipal councils that are due to fill vacancies in any of the positions of municipal office-bearers may request the Electoral Commission (IEC) to manage the election of such officebearers.[direction 6.7 substituted by Government Notice R432 of 2020, by section 2 of Government Notice 510 of 2020 and by section 2 of Government Notice 748 of 2020]
6.8Institutional arrangements and development of COVID-19 Response Plans6.8.1.Provincial COGTAs and Offices of Premiers are directed to immediately:(a)Establish the Provincial Command Council.(b)Establish coordinating structures at provincial level to support the national institutional arrangements.(c)Support the establishment of joint operation centres per district and metropolitan municipality.(d)Avail resources to supplement the capacity of the joint operation centre or the district disaster management centres.(e)Monitor the impact of interventions and submit weekly consolidated reports to the national disaster management structures.6.8.2.Municipalities are directed to immediately:(a)Establish the District Command Council with immediate effect.(b)Establish coordinating structures at municipal level to support the national and provincial institutional arrangements in collaboration with district and provincial administrations.(c)Participate in joint district and provincial disaster management structures to ensure a coordinated response to COVID-19.(d)Monitor the progress and impact of interventions in the municipality and submit weekly consolidated reports to the provincial and national disaster management structures.
6.9Development of COVID-19 Response Plans6.9.1.Provincial COGTAs and Offices of Premiers are also directed to:(a)Develop and implement a COVID-19 Response Plan for the province with immediate effect.(b)Monitor and coordinate provincial COGTA's response to COVID-19.(c)Obtain and analyse district/Metros COVID-19 risk profiles.(d)Support the district disaster management centres to develop response plans with the involvement of local municipalities.(e)Monitor and report on the progress and impact of the interventions to the Minister on a weekly basis.6.9.2.Municipalities are directed to:(a)Develop and implement a COVID-19 Response Plan within each district/metropolitan geographical space with immediate effect.(b)Compile a COVID-19 risk profile, including hotspot areas in the municipality.(c)Monitor and report on the progress and impact of the interventions to the Minister on a weekly basis.
6.10Precautionary measures to mitigate employee health and safety risks.6.10.1.National departments, provincial governments, municipalities and institutions of traditional leadership are directed to:(a)Provide frontline staff with the materials or equipment necessary to prevent person-to-person transmission, including soaps, sanitizers, facial masks, and latex gloves.(b)Prioritise electronic document handling measures to minimize person-to-person transmission through document and stationary handling.(c)Provide frontline and general staff with training on hygiene and sanitizing of workspaces and on COVID-19 risk identification and response protocols.(d)Ensure cleansing and sanitising of reception areas / community service centres, offices, lifts, vehicles, biometrics and ablution facilities, and all other objects that are generally touched by persons utilising the facilities, including handles and taps.(e)Disinfect floor and work surfaces of municipal offices periodically, at least twice-a-day during working hours.(f)Assign officials (including service providers) who will sanitise hands of people entering public facilities.(g)Install secured alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers at all points of entry, exit, workstations and in the passages /corridors.(h)Issue all officials at reception, admission and operational areas with appropriate protective equipment with immediate effect (as per the Standing Operating Procedures of the Department of Health).(i)Ensure that gloves are sanitised between searches.(j)Provide bins for the disposal of biohazardous material.(k)Temporarily suspend the provision of services to the public in instances where there is no sanitising or protective clothing equipment available, other than the provision of essential services, as define by the relevant regulations.(l)Establish mechanisms for reporting of identified cases of transmission and infection, without raising public alarm and fear.(m)Provide protective materials and or equipment for prevention of person-to-person transmission for general workers and operators of municipal equipment and vehicles as a precautionary measure.(n)Ensure that sufficient stock is available for the duration of the national state of disaster.(o)Direct inquiries about COVID-19 to relevant health authorities, if it cannot be addressed by the municipality


7. Short title and commencement

These Directions are called the COGTA COVID-19 Disaster Response Directions, 2020 and take effect on the date of signature and shall terminate on the date when the national state of disaster lapses or is terminated.

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