South Africans who have suffered adverse reactions after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine can claim financial compensation should they lose out on wages while recovering from the injury.

With the National State of Disaster that has come to an end, the new Code of Good Practice regulations allows for options under which employees can lodge such claims.

Associate of Employment Law, at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Dylan Bouchier says claims can be lodged via the Covid-19 Vaccine Injury No-fault Compensation Scheme.

He says employees can also claim illness benefits under the TERS scheme.

South Africans can also, if following the correct legal route, claim for losses and expenses incurred under the lockdown regulations.

Bouchier says employees can, therefore, under certain circumstances, lodge reimbursement claims for Covid-19 tests, unpaid leave, and the loss of income.

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The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says if the next wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is worse than expected, the national state of disaster could be reinstated.

The next wave is expected in May, or June this year.

Dlamini-Zuma says the health department will then give advice on whether the state of disaster should be reactivated.

She says this will happen if infection rates are high and the country’s hospitals start filling up.

Watch the full briefing here.

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The Draft regulations, which will replace National State of Disaster regulations, have been gazetted. Below is how you can comment on the new Covid-19 regulations.

The National State of Disaster has been in place for nearly two years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has extended the disaster legislation this month. The legislation is now set to expire on 15 April 2020.

Days before gazetting the draft for new guidelines to replace the State of Disaster, Dlamini-Zuma said that lifting this legislation cannot be done in a “reckless and abrupt manner”.

Despite this government has only given the public 48 hours to comment on the draft proposals.

The new legislation is aimed at tackling a range of issues and challenges presented by the current stage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These include masks for indoor and outdoor gatherings. Vaccine mandates in the workplace and in public spaces are also being debated.

In a statement, COGTA said: “The reason for the limited comment period is to ensure that government can end the state of disaster as soon as possible, while responsibly putting in place regulations relating to post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation as defined in the Act.”

The statement continued: “Following an assessment of public comments, the President will announce the withdrawal of the National State of Disaster.”

“However, it is imperative that the withdrawal is managed responsibly to avert a compromise of existing pandemic management tools.”

Members of the public can complete the comment form HERE or email your comments to Regulations@cogta.gov.za

You can read the draft regulations here:

https://www.gov.za/documents/disaster-management-act-disaster-management-amendment-regulations-comments-invited-29-mar

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is heading to court to stop the government from extending the National State of Disaster month after month.

DA leader John Steenhuisen made the announcement this week and said all indications are that the government will continue to extend the State of Disaster indefinitely.

The DA leader says that if and when the government moves lockdown regulations to permanent legislation, his party will mount a legal challenge to those too.

Steenhuisen says the DA will continue to fight for the rights of South Africans and oppose all of the government’s efforts to further keep the country’s citizens under never-ending lockdowns.

He says the continuous and repeated extension of the regulations does more harm than good.

Read more here.

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The Democratic Alliance says the government cannot extend the State of Disaster every month. The DA is now set to legally challenge the State of Disaster.

In a speech on Thursday 17 March, DA leader John Steenhuisen said: “All signs are that the government will continue to extend the State of Disaster until it has permanent legislation that can keep the lockdown in place.” He added: “The only state of disaster that the country is in, is the self-imposed one caused by ongoing restrictions which do more harm than good. It is time to focus all our energies on regaining and transcending what has been lost.”

The State of Disaster was extended to 15 April 2022 which would mean that its 25 months since the emergency legislation was first introduced.

Steenhuisen said: “I have today instructed our attorneys to bring an urgent court challenge to Tuesday’s irrational and unreasonable extension of the State of Disaster. But it’s not enough just to end the State of Disaster. The lockdown itself must end. It can’t just become permanent legislation, as the government is trying to do.”

At the same time, the National Department of Health has asked for public comment with regards to health measures to replace the State of Disaster. The government wants public input on how it proposes transitioning out of the Covid-19 regulations, giving the public 29 days in which to comment on new regulations. And, Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla said he believes face masks should outlive the national state of disaster on the coronavirus, and possibly stick around for a long time yet after new draft rules were published this week.

Under those rules, face masks would remain mandatory in 3 broad areas. This includes gathering in an indoor public place, using any form of public transport, and entering public premises.

According to Business Insider, companies would be required to provide face masks to employees.