Defeating the coronavirus together

Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc globally and plunged our country into a national emergency, we can overcome it if we work together and all get on board with a solid plan to contain the virus early.

Frequently asked questions

  • What does lockdown mean?
  • What power does the army have?
  • Am I still able to get/offer transport?
  • What food can I buy?
  • What cleaning/hygiene products are available?
  • When can I leave my home?
  • Do I need permission to leave my home?
  • What do I do if I am stopped or arrested after leaving home?
  • Am I allowed to walk my dogs?
  • Am I allowed to exercise outside e.g. jogging or walking?
  • Am I allowed to exercise in my security complex?
  • What are my constitutional rights in a state of disaster?
  • Where can I get a coronavirus test for free? I have no medical aid and can’t afford the cost at a laboratory.
  • My local grocery store inflated the price of basic goods during the crisis. What can I do?
  • Is my employer allowed to enforce a “no work, no pay” rule during the lockdown period?
  • Is my employer allowed to require me to submit leave for the duration of the lockdown?
  • Where can I apply for income relief for my small or medium-sized business?
  • I won’t be able to pay wages to my employees this month – will government help me?
  • Will my children be able to move between my house and their other parent’s?
  • Do I still need to pay maintenance to my co-parent, even though the children are living with me for the duration of the lockdown?
  • Am I allowed to attend a funeral?
  • How can I care for a vulnerable relative who needs medicine and food, now locked in their home and unable to leave their home?
  • Can my community feeding scheme still feed poor and vulnerable people?
  • How do we report people we know are breaking the rules of the lockdown?
  • If someone purposefully or recklessly transmits the coronavirus, is that a crime?
  • How many hospital beds are there in South Africa available for coronavirus patients?
  • The Regulations of Lockdown by the Minister say “all work must cease” which includes remote work if you read it strictly. Can an employer force an employee to work remotely if it risks their health?
  • What businesses and services are able to stay open?
  • Do I need a permit to perform an essential service?
  • Must I work from home?
  • What are the powers of SAPS during a state of disaster?
  • What do I do if the police (or SANDF) stop me while I am outside, and hurt or humiliate me?
  • What places are closed to the public?
  • What does “restriction of movement mean”?
  • What documents do I need to carry with me if I leave my house?
  • How many people per car?
  • National Health Act regulations already provide for the forced testing, isolation and quarantine of certain individuals, why do the National Disaster Regulations also provide for this?
  • When can the government declare a national disaster?
  • Are pregnant women allowed to go to the gynaecologist for their check-up?
  • The debt-relief fund for small businesses website is down
  • Can I take my workers to town to buy food?
  • Why are farmers getting mixed messages?
  • I work on a farm, what do I need with me if I have to travel to do my work?
  • Must I register my business?
  • Websites to keep kids entertained during the lockdown
  • Will I be allowed to make a planned international trip?
  • What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
  • If I am young and healthy, does this mean I shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus?
  • Should I get tested?
  • What does it mean to 'flatten the curve'?
  • It is not mandatory to wear a mask when you go outside. But if you have a mask, will it help?
  • What is home screening and how does it work?
  • Can I refuse field workers entry onto my property for home screening?

Breaking the chain of infection

DA Leader, John Steenhuisen, has called on South Africans to communicate responsibly by remaining calm and making careful, considered decisions so that we can prevent the wide-scale spread we’ve seen in other countries.

Key to this, is to practice social distancing if you can. Many South Africans live in large households or spaces like informal settlements where it is harder to contain the spread of infectious diseases. So, self-isolate if you are in a position to do so because whilst the disease may not be fatal to you, it could be fatal to a more vulnerable person who you come into contact with. (This does not mean you need to panic-buy groceries, as this just breeds a culture of fear!)

If you are experiencing symptoms or have any queries:

  • National hotline: 0800 029 999
  • Provincial hotline: 021 928 4102
  • Email: doh.dismed@westerncape.gov.za
  • Whatsapp “Hi” to 060 012 3456

All lines are operational 24/7.

Getting the private sector involved

Defeating Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is going to require an all-of-society approach. The DA is calling on businesses, telecommunications companies and private medical aids to support government.

Supporting businesses

In defeating the coronavirus, intervening in the economy is as important as health interventions.

We can mitigate the devastating impact the coronavirus will have on the economy if we plan properly.

We must be wary of the pressure this disease will put on small business owners and make sure that we prioritise co-operation so that we can save these businesses and give everyone peace of mind over the next few months.

We are calling for:

  • A four-month loan holiday for businesses.
  • A four-month rental holiday for small businesses.
  • pause on VAT, UIF and Worker’s Compensation Fund payments. (Outstanding VAT refunds should be paid to businesses urgently, and new VAT payments should be deferred to later this year.)
  • DA local governments to consider possible immediate rates payment reliefto businesses in the area.
  • An automatic extension to business rescue proceedings so that businesses in trouble can get three months more that the three months provided for in S132 of the Companies Act.
  • SAA’s R16.4 billion bailout to be cancelled immediately so the money can go to disaster management. (The Minister should also urgently clarify what funds are available in the National Disaster Management Fund.)

Working with government to defeat the coronavirus

We are working hard to ensure that there are more beds, and faster and more extensive screening and testing processes.

We are calling for:

  • The private sector to pledge further resources.
  • Government to make additional funds for screening and testing available.
  • The extension of screening and testing capacity by working with all involved.
  • Public screening hotspots to be implemented urgently, at transport hubs for example.
  • Medical professionals/students who are not at risk and can help, to volunteer at places like screening hotspots or call centres.
  • The coronavirus hotline to be expanded with more staff.
  • Basic business requirements to be policed by getting extra health and safety officials from local government to ensure that businesses in hotspot areas are protecting their staff and the public with the basic requirements.

WATCH the most recent episode of the Coronacast

The channel streams live every Tuesday and Friday at 2pm on DA social media accounts. DA Leader John Steenhuisen uses the platform to give updates and answer popular questions.

Coronavirus in the news

DA launches WhatsApp line to report Police and Army abuse and advise the public

DA calls on Department of Health to urgently source protective gear for health workers

DTIC adopts DA proposal on zero duty for life saving face masks

Labour Centres should remain open to process flood of UIF claims

Vosloorus killing: DA welcomes swift action by IPID

DA to share “Blue Book” of comprehensive COVID-19 measures with President Ramaphosa

DA proposes establishment of ad hoc committee for Executive oversight and protection of civil liberties

DA extends its condolences to the families of first South African COVID-19 victims

Even more South Africans stranded abroad following airlines’ confusion over lockdown