Government lifts ban on large gatherings in bid to quell unrest

People loot a mall in Gauteng.

The government has lifted the ban on gatherings with immediate effect.

In a notice published in the government gazette on July 14, co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said regulation 21 of the state of disaster had been amended to allow gatherings related to “emergency matters”.

Previously, any large gatherings — except for funerals, limited to 50 people — were forbidden under the level 4 regulations.

Gatherings will, however, only be permitted if they have been convened by MPs, members of provincial legislatures, councillors, religious and traditional leaders, and leaders of political parties.

Lifting the ban is expected to help the authorities get a grip on the widespread chaos that has engulfed part of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng since Saturday.

By Paul Ash – TimesLIVE