TOUGH PREVENTIVE MEASURES, to contain the impact the third wave of coronavirus could have in South Africa, by the Delta variant, first identified in India, and now dominating infections in South Africa, were announced at the weekend, by Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa President.

Addressing the nation, Ramaphosa said all gatherings – indoors or outdoors, including political, religious cultural and social gathering are prohibited. Overnight curfew was extended from 9pm to 4am; and all non-essential services will close by 8pm.

Closure of schools and other educational institutions for winter holidays was brought forward. They will start closing from Wednesday, June 30; all schools are expected close by the end of the week, on Friday; while contact classes at tertiary institutions, also, ends by Wednesday, June 30, with limited access to the institutions.

Public spaces, such as beaches and parks, will remain open. However, no gatherings will be permitted; while sales of alcohol both for onsite and offsite consumption are prohibited. Restaurants and eateries will only be permitted to sell food for take-away or delivery.


Funerals and cremations are permitted, but attendance need not exceed 50 people, social distancing and health protocols must be observed. Night vigils, after-funeral gatherings and ‘after-tears’ gatherings are not allowed.

Ramaphosa said measures have been put in place to allow economic activity to continue, as much as possible, while containing the spread of the virus. Businesses will continue to operate at full capacity, “our focus is on limiting social contacts while preserving the economy,” he added.

“I want to emphasise that it remains mandatory for every person to wear a face mask that always covers their nose and mouth when in public spaces. It is a criminal offense not to do so”, the president warned.

He further warned owners and managers of public buildings, centres, shops, restaurants, taxis and buses – all have responsibility to ensure that people on their premises or in their vehicles wear masks. And employers must allow their staff to work from home wherever possible, and postpone all non-essential travel and workplace gatherings.

SOUTH AFRICA REPORTED 18,000 cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus, first identified in India, and presently dominating the country, last Saturday. The authorities said this has pushed the country back to the situation in January.


Ramaphosa said the existing measures in the country were not enough to contain the spread and scale of the infection.  “We are in the grip of a devastating wave that by all indications seems like it will be worse than those that preceded it. The peak of this third wave looks set to be higher than the previous two”.

And added that the country was facing a grave challenge with public health facilities stretched to the limit and private hospitals that are, also, under strain.

About 2.5 million people have had a jab out of the population of 59 million in South Africa, which is said to progressing slowly.  Ramaphosa said news arrivals of vaccines doses will allow vaccination programme to speed up.