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Directions on the Re-Opening of Schools Amended

March 31, 2021

Department of Basic Education

Directions on the re-opening of schools have been amended.

The basic education department published the amended Directions in Government Gazette 44339 in terms of Disaster Management Act Regulations.

The Directions regarding the re-opening of schools and measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in the national department of basic education, and provincial departments of education, and all schools in South Africa were published in Gazette 44154 in February 2021.

Direction 11 on sport and extracurricular activities is amended by the insertion of a new sub-direction (1 A).

It lists the activities that may resume without any spectators including school sport matches; physical education; extra-curricular activities and inter-school, district, provincial and national school sport tournaments.

New paragraphs to sub-direction (2) spell out the measures to be implemented during the activities.

A new sub-direction (5) stipulates that championships, tournaments and inter-school sport matches that require learners to travel to other schools or provinces may resume without spectators.

The amended Directions came into effect on the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 44342, the higher education and training department published Directions on a national framework and criteria for the management of the 2021 academic year in public and private higher education institutions.

The Directions are intended as a national framework to assist institutions with the management of activities for the academic year and should be read together with the Regulations, to be published from time to time.

The Directions focus on social solidarity, institutional plans, campus health and safety, student accommodation and residences, psychosocial assistance for staff and students, graduation ceremonies and other events, international students and international travel and PSET vaccination.

The Directions came into effect on the date of publication.

In terms of the vaccination roll-out programme, cabinet recently announced that the programme has been extended to 54 vaccine sites across the country with more than 207 808 people vaccinated by the end of last week.

The three phases of South Africa’s Vaccination roll-out programme are as follows:


• Phase 1: implemented over three months from 17 February to 17 May 2021, to target over 1,5 million (608 295 registered) healthcare workers countrywide.
• Phase 2: implemented over six months from 18 May to 17 November 2021 – to target over 13 350 140 vulnerable groups, essential workers, and occupational health and safety stream -i.e. workers in sectors that are critical for economic recovery such as mines, hospitality, taxi industry, retail including spazashops and the informal sector, media and other applicable beneficiaries – process underway with NEDLAC to detail the categories of essential workers and OHS stream and outline a process to follow in applying for inclusion in Phase 2.
• Phase 3: implemented over three months (Nov 2021 – Feb 2022) – to cover the remainder of all people in South Africa, including those who were not vaccinated in Phase 2 – to target 22 600 640.