The C19 People’s Coalition is an alliance of over 190 civil society organisations, many of which are directly involved in monitoring government’s lockdown, providing essential services, and rolling out programmes to combat COVID-19. Provisions in the lockdown regulations need to be improved to enable this important work. The Coalition has written to the government calling for appropriate amendments.
In a context of widespread abuse of human rights, the Coalition has proposed amendments that better enable the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and accredited human rights monitors to observe police and other government operations. As reports of domestic violence increased in the first week of the lockdown, the Coalition has suggested amendments that make clear that protection orders and shelters can be accessed. To curb the targeting of spaza and grocery shops owned by foreign nationals, recommendations have been made to make it clear that these spaza and grocery shops are also providing an essential service. As essential service workers are taking up the frontlines in the fight against the Coronavirus, we have made proposals to ensure that government’s transport regulations do not impede their ability to get to and from their places of work.
The Coalition’s letter – endorsed by a number of public interest law organisations – offers concrete proposals for constructively addressing these problems. The Coalition continues to analyse government’s regulations and directions and will be making further proposals.
Read the letter here.