The country is being prepped for a permanent state of undeclared lockdown and medical crisis.
Public participation platform Dear South Africa’s servers slowed to a crawl on Thursday as thousands of South Africans logged on to register their reactions to the Department of Health’s proposed regulations that will, in effect, give government unprecedented powers to quarantine citizens, demand vaccine passports and a host of other restrictions.
The government plans to retire the Disaster Management Act as the tool with which to enforce lockdowns and other restrictions, and replace this with new regulations under the National Health Act.
“This campaign is flying faster than any we have done before,” says Dear South Africa’s project manager, Rob Hutchinson.
This includes the Dear South Africa campaign calling for public comment over expropriation without compensation. The comments were so skewed against the proposed change in the Constitution that it helped derail government’s plans to push through what many regard as the most radical legal overhaul since 1994.
More than 80 000 comments on the proposed public health regulations had been received by Thursday, 95% of them opposed to the health regulations. Hutchinson says new comments are coming in at the rate of 200 a minute.
Says one commentator: “What this amendment is doing is taking away the freedom to choose from citizens. It is absolutely evil to want to force people to take vaccines or any other medicine and then forcefully put these things into people’s bodies (without being) held liable for any side effects.”
“This is draconian and communistic,” says another. “There is no more pandemic.”
“This is oppression at its highest form. I say no to mandatory vaccine. I say No. Let people choose and decide what is good for their health. It’s been two years already. It’s not 2020 where we did not know how to fight a pandemic. This is not even a pandemic anymore. This is like a slap in God’s face, after all he has done for our country,” says another.
Hutchinson says few campaigns have elicited such a powerful response as the call for public comment on the proposed change to health regulations that make provision for compulsory quarantines, compulsory medical examinations if you have been in contact with someone who has a “notifiable” disease, the forcible extraction of body fluids, ongoing use of face masks and medical screening for those boarding local flights.
Here’s a sampling of the proposed regulations:
- All people entering or exiting South Africa during a pandemic should present negative PCR tests not older than 72 hours in the event they do not have a vaccination certificate.
- Continued restrictions will be placed on night vigils and after-funeral gatherings.
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings may be occupied up to 50% of the venue capacity, provided valid vaccine certificates are produced. For gatherings where no valid vaccine certificates are required, artificial limits of 1 000 and 2 000 people will apply for indoor and outdoor gatherings, respectively.
- Social distancing of one metre must be maintained.
- Face masks will be compulsory for indoor gatherings, people cannot enter public premises or make use of public transport without a mask.
- The regulations also leave the door open for other restrictions, labelled as ‘advice giving’ between different departments. This advice can relate to curfew, national lockdown, economic activity and the sale of alcohol, among others.
- The regulations also make provision for the ongoing use of face masks. There is no explanation as to the scientific basis for establishing the efficacy of these masks.
- Businesses will have to continue limiting the number of people allowed into their premises, while maintaining all of the social distancing and Covid safety protocols now in place.
- All people entering SA may be placed under mandatory quarantine for a period of time determined by the department. Those entering SA who want to self-quarantine must apply in writing, 72 hours before the intended date of entry, to the director-general of health. Where permission is refused, the person will be assigned to a state-identified quarantine facility.
“We will be ruled indefinitely by ministerial regulations with virtually no effective oversight by parliament or the courts,” says Michael Swain, executive director for Freedom of Religion (FOR) SA. “There’s been a consistent pattern of unfair discrimination against the religious community. Religious gatherings were branded super-spreader events without any scientific proof or evidence of this.”
Attorney for FOR SA, Daniela Ellerbeck, says unless people speak out about these health regulations, they will become the new normal.
Something as inconsequential as a common cold may be listed as a notifiable disease, which would then trigger the full raft of draconian powers the state wishes to award itself – including compulsory quarantining, vaccination, hospitalisation and intrusive medical examination.