In accordance with the announcement on 25 April 2020 by Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, informal waste recyclers will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity under level 4 of the lockdown. As of 1 May 2020, South Africa will move to Level 4. SERI welcomes the inclusion of informal waste reclaimers.
On 23 April 2020, SERI submitted recommendations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on the COVID-19 regulations and directions to allow informal waste reclaimers to operate during the lockdown. The submission was also sent to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Minister of Environmental Forestry and Fisheries.
Considering the harmful impact that the lockdown has had on the ability of many who make a living in the informal economy, the submission called for the inclusion of informal reclaimers in the definition of essential services.