MEDIA STATEMENT
To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Thursday, 14 April 2022


Health Ministry extends deadline for Health Regulations public comments


Pretoria:
Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla has today announced an extension on the submission deadline for public comments on the health regulations meant to manage COVID-19 and other notifiable conditions outside the state of disaster. The new submission deadline is Sunday, 24 April 2022.

This follows requests and concerns from a number of stakeholders that a 30-day period was not sufficient enough for them to scrutinize and interact with all sets of proposed regulations in order to develop substantial representations.

The department has considered the request, hence a decision to extend the deadline by additional 8 days was made to afford all those who could not meet the original deadline to finalise their views and representations.

Minister Phaahla also expressed his gratitude to all organisations and individuals who found time to read the regulations and shared their valuable comments and representations on how the  country can better manage COVID-19 and other notifiable conditions without invoking interventions such as the national state of disaster.

Minister Phaahla urges interested individual and organisations to use the extended window period for public comments on the health regulations meant to manage COVID-19 and other notifiable conditions outside the Disaster Management Act, which has helped to save lives and the livelihoods.

The Minister has also reiterated the global view that Covid-19 remains amongst us as a pandemic. There continue to be a need for all of us to protect ourselves through the nonpharmaceutical means, and through vaccine as the only weapon against Covid. He assured the parliamentarians and the public at large that the government continues to have good intentions in the execution of its Constitutional mandate to protect lives of South Africans, and the introduction of the amendments to the existing Health Regulations is to ensure this is done logically and rationale.

“These health regulations are not new, they were promulgated in 2017, however do not make provisions for management of the notifiable medical conditions of COVID-19 pandemic magnitude which has never been experienced before”, said Minister Phaahla.

The department has also announce further communication methods in which the public can send their comments, these include a WhatsApp number – 0600 123456 and email address: legalreviews@health.gov.za . People can still use the current email tsakani.furumele@health.gov.za .

Meanwhile, the department would like to acknowledge a technical glitch in which few emails were erroneously deleted during the transfer of emails from an individual inbox into an open source, however affected emails were retrieved and included into a pool a comments for consideration and auditing purpose.

Thus, we would like to assure everyone that all comments received will be accounted for, including the duplications are being recorded and considered.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Foster Mohale
Director Media Relations
National Health Department
Cell: 072 4323792
Foster.mohale@health.gov.za

Doctor Tshwale
MLO – Health Minister
National Health Department
Cell: 063 657 8487
Doctor.tshwale@health.gov.za