Litigation: Government asked to explain lockdown reasoning

Business lobby group Sakeliga has launched an application to gain access to information about the government’s ongoing lockdown regulation deliberations and decisions, Beeld reports. Sakeliga, which represents about 17 000 businesspeople and businesses, says there is a veil of secrecy over the criteria used to decide on lockdown regulations, which have a significant impact on the economy. According to the group, the goalposts are shifted continuously.

Initially, the rationale for a lockdown was presented as a temporary measure to flatten the curve. Then, Sakeliga says, the standard was hospital capacity and the number of deaths, but the latest criterion seems to be an acceptable number of vaccinations. Sakeliga launched a PAIA application in December last year to obtain the relevant documents and information, but the application was rejected by the Department of Co-operative Governance. Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma raised Cabinet privilege in rejecting the PAIA bid. However, Sakeliga now says in papers filed in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) it is impossible that all the information and documentation being requested is protected by Cabinet privilege. Dlamini-Zuma has yet to indicate whether she will oppose the application.

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