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Minister stresses need for businesses to enhance health, safety measures on Level 4

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The national coronavirus command cluster says more stringent health measures will be expected from employers as the country heads towards Level 4 of the national lockdown.

Cape Town – The national coronavirus command cluster says more stringent health measures will be expected from employers as the country heads towards Level 4 of the national lockdown, which will see several businesses resume operations.

The country will be moving from Level 5 to Level 4 on Friday as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week. The change follows a five-week lockdown which was put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Ramaphosa said the lockdown had been effective, but explained that people need to eat. He said the lockdown would be phased out over time and not abruptly as that would cause more harm.

As part of Level 4, some businesses will begin operations again. 

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane explained that with regards to health and safety measures, employers would have to reduce operating capacity to ensure physical distancing is adhered to at work. 

She said employers in the mining sector would be expected to provide ventilation, masks, gloves and other necessary health equipment to ensure that workers were protected as they return to work. 

These requirements will include providing screening and a quarantine facility for the mining sector. 

Kubayi-Ngubene said with the tourism sector, the access to the relief fund worth R200 million had been halted because of the court action by AfriForum and Solidarity. 

The organisations are questioning the government’s prioritisation of previously disadvantaged groups with regards to the distribution of funds. 

She said over 10 000 applications had been received for access to the tourism fund relief. She said the sector was looking at survival, recovery and prosperity.

For small businesses, spaza shop owners that had applied for relief would be receiving R7 000.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the final documentation and which businesses would be allowed to operate will be finalised by April 30. 

Political Bureau