Media Release public policy

Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on measures to combat Covid-19 outbreak

Highlights from the President’s speech:

On the economy:

My fellow South Africans, in addition to the impact that this pandemic will have on health and wellbeing of our people, and the impact it will have on the day-to-day life of our society, COVID-19 will also have a significant and potentially lasting impact on our economy.

Cabinet is therefore in the process of finalising a comprehensive package of interventions to mitigate the expected impact of COVID-19 on our economy.

This package, which will consist of various fiscal and other measures, will be concluded following consultation with business, labour and other relevant institutions.

On managing the outbreak:

The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic.

We have now declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act. This will enable us to have an integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism that will focus on preventing and reducing the outbreak of this virus.

Following an extensive analysis of the progression of the disease worldwide and in South Africa, Cabinet has decided on the following measures:

Firstly, to limit contact between persons who may be infected and South African citizens.

We are imposing a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China as from 18 March 2020.

We have cancelled visas to visitors from those countries from today and previously granted visas are hereby revoked.

South African citizens are advised to refrain from all forms of travel to or through the European Union, United States, United Kingdom and other identified high-risk countries such as China, Iran and South Korea.

This is effective immediately.

Government will continue to regularly issue travel alerts referring to specific cities, countries or regions as the situation evolves based on the risk level.

Any foreign national who has visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa.

South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa.

Travellers from medium-risk countries – such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore – will be required to undergo high intensity screening.

All travellers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since mid-February will be required to present themselves for testing.

We will strengthen surveillance, screening and testing measures at OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports South Africa has 72 ports of entry in the country which are land, sea and air ports.

Of the 53 land ports, 35 will be shut down with effect from Monday 16 March.

Two of the 8 sea ports will be closed for passengers and crew changes.

Effective immediately, all non-essential travel for all spheres of government outside of the Republic is prohibited. We further discourage all non-essential domestic travel, particularly by air, rail, taxis and bus.

Secondly, it is essential therefore that we minimise the risk of the spread of this virus by limiting contact amongst groups of people.

Therefore to encourage social distancing Cabinet has decided on these additional measures:

Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited.

Mass celebrations of upcoming national days such as Human Rights Day and other large government events will be cancelled.

Where small gatherings are unavoidable, organisers will need to put in place stringent measures of prevention and control.

Schools will be closed from Wednesday, 18 March, and will remain closed until after the Easter Weekend.

To compensate, the mid-year school holidays will be shortened by a week.

Government is working closely with colleges, universities and other public facilities such as Parliament, prisons, police stations and military installations to intensify hygiene control.

Visits to all correctional centres are suspend for 30 days with immediate effect.

Government is aware of the confirmed case of a student who has tested positive for the coronavirus at Wits University.

Those who have been in contact with the student will be quarantined.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation is consulting with Vice Chancellors of universities and colleges across the country and will soon be announcing measures in this regard.

We call on all businesses including mining, retail, banking, farming to ensure that they take all necessary measures to intensify hygiene control.

We also call on the management of malls, entertainment centres and other places frequented by large numbers of people to bolster their hygiene control.

Thirdly, to further strengthen our health response: Government is strengthening its surveillance and testing systems.

We are in process of identifying isolation and quarantine sites in each district and metro.

Capacity is being increased at designated hospitals in all provinces.

We are also increasing the capacity of existing contact tracing processes.

We are partnering with the private sector to set up a national tracking, tracing and monitoring system of all people infected with the coronavirus and those they have been in contact with.
We are undertaking a mass communication campaign on good hygiene and effective prevention behaviour.

Therefore, we are calling on everyone to:

• Wash their hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitisers for at least 20 seconds;
• Cover their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow;
• Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

We must minimise physical contact with other people, and, encourage the elbow greeting rather than shaking hands.

Because of the severity of this virus and its rapid spreading, government will make funding available to capacitate the sectors dealing with the national response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Since the outbreak of this pandemic, our government’s response has been led by an Inter-Ministerial Committee, chaired by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

We congratulate them on the outstanding work they have done – together with their able support teams – to steer our country through this challenging and un-certain period.

As part of the intensification of this effort, we have decided to establish a National Command Council chaired by the President.

This Command Council will include, amongst others, members of the Inter- Ministerial Committee and will meet three times a week, to coordinate all aspects of our extraordinary emergency response.


economic policy Media Release

Statement on Covid-19 by representatives of G20 Leaders

We, the representatives of the G20 Leaders, discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people and the global economy during the second Sherpa meeting in Khobar, Saudi Arabia on March 12, 2020. We are deeply saddened by the human tragedy caused by the spread of COVID-19 and stand in solidarity with all affected countries.

This pandemic calls for a robust international response. G20 countries will enhance cooperation and coordination to control the outbreak, protect people, mitigate the economic impact, and maintain economic stability, while avoiding stigmatization.

The protection of human lives is of paramount importance. G20 countries support and work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor the outbreak, share relevant information, encourage preventive measures, early case detection, and clinical care. We underscore the importance of close cooperation between the international organizations and we invite them to report regularly to the G20 on their actions and assessment of needs. We will step up support for the development of early warning systems, appropriate treatments, and vaccines. Fighting the disease at home is our primary concern. In parallel, we will strengthen capacity building and technical assistance between us and to developing countries, whose health systems are often weaker and populations are more vulnerable.

Our health officials met earlier this month to discuss the health and social impact of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. G20 countries will continue to lead efforts to enhance public health preparedness and response, as well as support the implementation of the International Health Regulations. We ask our health officials to continue to support the WHO in its response to the pandemic.

In their recent statement, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors agreed to use all available policy tools, including fiscal and monetary measures as appropriate. We invite our finance officials to continue their ongoing work with international organizations to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19. We welcome the actions taken by countries to support economic activity. We support the IMF and World Bank commitments to extend financing to developing countries that need it and invite countries to strengthen funding facilities. We are committed to addressing the disruptions to international trade and market uncertainty due to the pandemic.

We are confident that, working closely together, we will overcome the COVID-19 outbreak and its implications, safeguard human lives, and protect the global economy. As a premier forum for international economic cooperation, we will demonstrate our ability to address the challenges and realize the opportunities of the 21st century.

economic policy

G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on Covid-19

We are deeply saddened by the human tragedy caused by the spread of COVID-19. We fully support countries’ ongoing measures to contain the outbreak, treat those affected and prevent further transmission.

As agreed in our February meeting, we are closely monitoring the evolution of COVID-19 including its impact on markets and economic conditions. We welcome the measures and plans put forward by countries to support economic activity. We are ready to take further actions, including fiscal and monetary measures, as appropriate, to aid in the response to the virus, support the economy during this phase and maintain the resilience of the financial system.

We will be working with the international community to assist developing countries to cope with the impact of the outbreak. We welcome the steps taken by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group (WBG) and other international organizations to help member countries by using their available instruments to the fullest extent possible, including emergency financing, policy advice and technical assistance as part of a coordinated global response.

We underscore the need for cooperation to mitigate risks to the global economy from unexpected shocks. To this end, we are working closely with the IMF, the WBG, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and support strong coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), in particular with a view to sharing information, assessing needs and devising policy options that countries can implement in response to COVID-19 outbreak.

The G20 is an important forum for driving a global response during times of uncertainty. We reiterate our commitment to use all available policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and safeguard against downside risks. We will continue to review our individual and coordinated actions in response to COVID-19.

Issued by: G20 Secretariat, 6 March 2020


art creative economy Events Gallery MOMO

The Making of an African Master: on at Gallery Momo Cape Town

Gallery MOMO is proud to present a group exhibition featuring George Pemba, Dumile Feni, George Hallett, and Leonard Matsoso. Each of these artists has been labelled a “master” in his own regard. But what makes a master’s work? Is it the craftsman’s skill? Is it the political moment surrounding the oeuvre? Must it be avant-garde, socially and formally? Must it be made at the height of an artist’s successful career, or does mastery spawn from suffering? Is the cultural significance of a work determined by the public, or by galleries, museums, and auction houses? If the space between an object and an art object is difficult to determine, the space between an artist and a historically significant artist is all the more elusive.

The works in this show meet at a unique nexus of past and present. On the one hand, they are archival documents. The works of Dumile or Pemba belong to a specific historical context. Their works and biographies speak to issues of oppression, censorship, destitution, and exile in the context of the apartheid regime. On the other hand, the images and messages in these works continue to resonate with contemporary audiences. Not only do they speak to broader issues of representation, corporeality, materiality, and aesthetics, but these works shed light on social and political conditions that might not look so distant from the so-called past.

Typically, the role of the gallery in the art world is to advocate for the new, the up-and-coming, and the never-before-seen. The curation of artwork twenty years old or older normally falls under the jurisdiction of large-scale museums. However, This unique retrospective will cover over forty years of work by South African artists, some of which has never been displayed outside private collections. Join us for a reexamination of these deeply accomplished bodies of work, as well as an inquiry into the ways in which past masters return to make our present understandings of art more legible.

For more information, please contact Keely at: | +27 (21) 424 5150

Author: Gallery Momo

competition policy economic policy Featured public policy

Call for papers on economic regulation, competition and regional development


The National Energy Regulator of South Africa, the Competition Commission South Africa and the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development are honoured to host the 4th Annual Competition and Economic Regulation (ACER) Week, Southern Africa. ACER provides a valuable platform for competition authorities and regulators to share knowledge, keep abreast of key developments across the region, and build networks for collaboration between agencies. ACER week combines targeted courses on 16-18 July 2018, running concurrently, and the conference on 19 & 20 July 2018.

The conference seeks to address issues of direct interest to competition authorities, economic regulators and industrial policy practitioners in Southern Africa.

Abstracts for proposed conference papers are invited on issues of economic regulation, competition and regional development. While there is a focus on Southern Africa, papers are welcome on these issues with reference to other jurisdictions. The papers will be selected from the abstracts submitted.

Papers are especially invited which fall within the following key themes:

  • Industrial development, structural transformation and creating more competitive markets
  • The opening-up of local and regional markets – experiences in renewable energy and gas markets
  • Cost allocation regarding cross-border energy infrastructure
  • Contemporary regulatory challenges for telecoms, and transition to smart cities and a digital economy
  • Assessing prudency in asset procurement and operational expenditure, and the impact on tariffs
  • Competing on whose merits? A new competition policy agenda to tackle inequality, concentration and participation
  • Competition and regional integration: developing institutions and an effective regime for assessing regional mergers and prosecuting cross-border cartels
  • Market inquiries – realistic or overloaded expectations?
  • 20 years of the South African Competition Act – critical reflections

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words. Abstracts may be submitted to on or before 2 April 2018. Acceptance of papers will be communicated by 13 April 2018. Final papers must be submitted by 29 June 2018.

For more information, please visit CCRED website:

Queries can be directed to Lauralyn Kaziboni. Tel: +27 11 559 7516. E-mail:

Author: CCRED