Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
3 minute read
16 May 2020
6:01 am

The groups trying to slowly pick at the lock of SA’s Covid-19 prison

Bernadette Wicks

Civil society and political parties have begun chipping away in earnest at the coronavirus lockdown, using a combination of legal actions challenging the constitutionality of the restrictions and behind-the-scenes lobbying by business with government.

A surfer protests against lockdown regulations in Cape Town, South Africa, 05 May 2020. Picture: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

The process gained momentum with Thursday’s victory by the Dear South Africa grouping, which saw Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel back down to an ultimatum to permit online shopping or face an urgent court interdict. President Cyril Ramaphosa was meeting the National Economic Development and Labour Council yesterday to discuss the details of moving “most of the country” to Level 3 from Level 4 by the end of this month. Some sectors, including automotive, have already won concessions from government on reopening and others are putting their case vigorously. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is the latest to drag government...