COVID-19 AND THE LEVEL TWO LOCKDOWN

 

A. INTRODUCTION

As we enter week number twenty five and passing the 170 days since South Africa got to know about Covid-19. The National Lockdown brought a lot of changes in the way we communicate, work and go around with our daily lives. The SA government has introduced a few changes to South Africa’s Level 2 Lockdown Regulations. Cabinet has confirmed that more changes might be introduced as we move to Level one of the Lockdown.

On the media statements released by government over this period confirmed that “changes will be based on a health assessment presented by National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC). Government highlighted that NCCC will present a number of recommendations in relation to the Risk-adjusted Alert and Strategy, as we move to Level 1 of the National Lockdown”.

Government published a number of new directives in June 2020. The new directives led to the amendment of the existing Lockdown Regulations in order to provide direction in number of areas. The new changes provided more flexibility on the following sectors:

  1. Travel

  2. Schools

  3. Sports

  4. Media and Arts

B. FINANCIAL SECTOR LAWS AMENDMENT BILL OF 2020

Linked to the above directives, Cabinet also approved the submission of the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill of 2020 to Parliament.

The Bill recommended that the South African Reserve Bank be designated the Resolution Authority. The Bill strengthen the SARB’s regulatory capacity to discharging its statutory mandate in ensuring the stability of the financial system.

 

“The Bill proposed a new framework to resolve financial institutions, primarily banks when they enter a period of financial distress. It also introduces South Africa’s first comprehensive deposit insurance scheme that will ensure that depositors are paid their funds when a bank fails.”

“Cabinet highlighted that such a scheme will protect the vulnerable depositors and ensure minimal disruptions to the financial system and broader economy when such institutions enter into financial distress. ”

C. THE IRFA AND RETURN TO WORK PHASES

As the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA) we have been working remotely since the announcement of a National Lockdown by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the 23rd March 2020.  Our staff members were provided with the necessary tools to enable them to work remotely. All our meeting are facilitated through Zoom and, we have added Microsoft Teams as an additional tool that can be used in our meetings.  

 

In order to comply with the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations that were announced by the government, we moved with speed in responding to Section 5 (5) of the Regulations that says “workplaces need to have general measures in place to contain the spread of COVID 19”. We have strengthened these Regulations at our office by introducing a detailed register, a stand for the sanitiser and the temperature testing thermometer. The staff will be encouraged to continue practicing social distancing and the wearing of masks all the time.

 

D. THE IRFA WILL FOLLOW A PHASED APROACH TO RETURN TO OFFICE:


 

 

E. THE IRFA 2020 CONFERENCE
The IRFA 2020 Conference had to be postponed due to Covid-19 and Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations. Instead of a face to face conference the IRFA will be hosting a Virtual Conference on the 19th to the 20th November 2020 and a Hybrid Conference in March 2021.

 

F. THE WEBINARS

The IRFA has organized a few Webinars that have been a great success. There are no Webinars that are planned for September 2020. We are planning to have Webinars during October/November 2020.

 

G. FOLLOW US ON LINE

As the IRFA we continue to manage all your queries via virtual communication platforms and we are available on the telephone and email. Membership renewal is done through the Wild Apricot portal that is linked to our Website. As we go back to the office on the 14th September 2020, we  will make sure to give you all the support you need through our telephone at 011 450-1670 or on email at the reception@irfa.org.za.

 

H. CONCLUSION

We appreciate your support during these challenging and risky times. The IRFA encourages you to visit our Website for ongoing updates on the Webinars and the November 2020 Virtual Conference. We wish you all the best in your endeavours as you continue to work and manage your lives under the COVID-19 and the Lockdown.

 

Enos S. Ngutshane

IRFA, President

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