IRR registers opposition to permanent lockdown measures

25 April 2022 - Yesterday the IRR submitted a formal brief opposing draft Regulations under the National Health Act (NHA) that aim to make certain lockdown measures permanent.

Yesterday the IRR submitted a formal brief opposing draft Regulations under the National Health Act (NHA) that aim to make certain lockdown measures permanent.

If enforced the draft Regulations will impose 50% capacity restrictions on places of business and worship, vaccine mandates for large outdoor events and mask mandates for persons entering “any public premises”.

The IRR has collected over 15 000 signatures opposing various forms of citizen abuse inflicted via lockdown measures. This has included a petition against vaccine mandates and the Free Your Face campaign to end the mask mandate.

The IRR’s submission to the Department of Health shows that on a careful reading the NHA does not permit the Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, to force a universal change in how South Africans dress in public places, or to limit business so pervasively, or to impose vaccine mandates.

Not only do the Regulations exceed the power provided by the NHA, they are also inconsistent with the Constitution – specifically Section 12, which guarantees bodily integrity, Section 14, which guarantees the right to privacy, Section 21, which guarantees freedom of movement and Section 36, which designates the strict tests that must be passed in order for the government to limit any of these fundamental freedoms. None of the tests are passed by the draft Regulations.

According to a World Bank list of over 150 countries, South Africa has the worst unemployment rate on record. Whereas in countries including India, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Egypt and Kenya pandemic job losses have been recovered, in South Africa 1.9 million jobs have been indefinitely lost since the lockdown.

Said Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns: “Our polling, and polling by Ipsos, has shown that most South Africans consider unemployment to be the number one problem in the country. The draft Regulations must be scrapped so that we can get back to work. Poverty kills and work is the only sustainable cure.”
 

Media contacts: Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za
Chris Hattingh, IRR Deputy Head of Campaigns – 083 600 8688; chris@irr.org.za
 
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za

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