The High Court in Pretoria has declared level 4 and 3 of the regulations to combat the Covid-19, unconstitutional and invalid on Tuesday 2 June 2020. The Court held that little or no regard was provided for the impact to individual Constitutional rights granted to people by the Constitution.  


Judge Norman Davis outlined the reasons why he has based his decision, by stating that:


  • The regulations surrounding the funerals were “distressing and irrational”.

  • The ban on those working in the informal sectors such as, traders, fisheries, shore-foragers, construction workers, street vendors, waste pickers and hairdressers have lost their livelihood and their right to attempt to make a livelihood. Judge Davis also mentioned that they were in less contact with people than the 50 people allowed at funerals.


  • The restrictions afforded to exercising are “equally perplexing”. Judge Davis said that the regulations restricting the right to freedom of movement were rational to combat the spread of Covid-19, but that the restrictions placed on the hours of exercise to determined time periods were irrational.


  • The practicality on the distribution of food parcels to those in need, “highlights another absurdity”. Judge Davis mentioned that people were forced to gather in mass for hours and sometimes days to obtain food, which they otherwise would have obtained for themselves.

Although some regulations were declared invalid, some passed the test and are valid in the court’s opinion. Judge Davis directed the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and other Ministers within 14 days, to review, amend and republish the regulation in light of the limitations they can cause to individual constitutional rights in accordance with the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, current level 3 regulations will remain in force until the new regulations are published by government.  


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