Business organisation Sakeliga says national government is overstepping its boundaries regarding the control of provincial governance on the nationwide lockdown regulations.

The organisation has launched a court case in a bid to have some of government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations amended. The litigation seeks to restore the right for businesses to trade without state-issued permits, irrespective of the lockdown level.  It also wants the court to order that law-enforcement may not obstruct businesses in this regard.

Legal Analyst at Sakeliga, Daniel Du Plessis says provincial and local governments should be allowed to decide whether the province is ready to reopen for economic activity based on their readiness to deal with cases of the COVID-19.

“Its very clear that the current regulations just aren’t working effectively. At the moment you’ve got more than a thousand pages of regulations that’s already been issued, that means if you want to open your business you need to know more or less which is applicable or which is not applicable. The law enforcement also needs to understand that now it’s clearly not practical. In the small and micro business sector we are running the risk of actually killing most of those businesses. The main issues we’re addressing in our case is the permit system that government is using. The second issue is that national government is overstepping its bounds of what it’s allowed to do. Provincial and local governments should actually have more leeway in deciding what exactly are the right conditions for opening up in their specific instances,” says Du Plessis.

Level 4 includes an easing of regulations around the movement of people and a slight opening-up of economic activity.