The South African health authorities’ response to Covid has been characterised by irrationality and ineptitude.

You would be forgiven for having lost track of the status of the proposed amendments to the Health Act regulations that in effect prolong the state of disaster regulations indefinitely.

In March, these draft regulations were published and citizens were given 30 days to comment. In April that deadline was extended for another seven days and on 4 May 2022, recognising that the law required a 90-day comment period, the Minister extended the deadline for another 90 days (to 5 August 2022). At the same time, however, he purported to enact certain of those same regulations.

This prompted litigation against the Minister that PANDA has supported. In essence, the case has been made that the regulations are irrational, do not serve any valid purpose and are instead unlawfully attempting to achieve other aims. PANDA’s reasons for supporting this case are evident from our comments on the regulations themselves (see https://www.pandata.org/welcome-to-the-permanent-pandemic/).

To add further confusion to an already muddled process, in June the Minister responded to the litigation by repealing the enacted regulations. However, the draft regulations have not been repealed and these could still be passed.

It is therefore vital that you help stop these regulations in their tracks by commenting before the 5 August. With just two days to go until the close of comments on the draft regulations, it is important that you make your voice heard. You can do that by submitting your comments to DearSA or to the Minister directly. Because the litigation is still relevant, it has continued and you can also do your bit to support the costs of that litigation at the link below.

https://dearsouthafrica.co.za/health-act-amendment/
https://www.health.gov.za/public-comments-on-regulations/
Follow the Sakeliga case here: https://sakeliga.co.za/en/scrap-health-regulations-and-prevent-monitored-society/