Sakeliga issues demand for mandatory end to the state of disaster
18 January 2022
Sakeliga’s lawyers have issued a letter of demand for the mandatory end to the ‘national state of disaster’.
In the letter, we demand that the National Disaster Management Centre’s (NDMC) Head of Centre, Dr Mmaphaka Tau reassess and rescind his classification of COVID-19 as a ‘national disaster’ by 28 January 2022. The ‘national state of disaster’ was promulgated nearly two years ago in March 2020 based upon this classification, issued by the NDMC under section 23 of the Disaster Management Act (DMA). Should the classification fall away, the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) will be obligated to withdraw her declaration of a ‘national state of disaster’ and be unable to renew it.
Failing reassessment and recission of the initial classification by 28 January, Sakeliga will seek to compel the Head of Centre to reassess under section 23 of the DMA and will consider seeking urgent relief under section 172 of the Constitution of South Africa.*
Sakeliga undertakes this action to ensure a return to normality in the commercial and social sphere, which requires removing government’s ability to issue and amend arbitrary regulations at a moment’s notice. Removing the ‘state of disaster’ is crucial for recovering employment for the more than a million people rendered jobless by government’s lockdown policies, ensuring an immediate rebound in tourism, and countering escalating instability in South Africa.