No, the Lockdown Regulations (Regulations issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act on 25 March 2020) were amended on 26 March 2020 to specifically include harvesting and storage activities as an essential service. According to the Regulations: “Harvesting and storage activities essential to prevent the
wastage of primary agricultural goods” is now listed as an essential service. Additionally, Western Cape MEC of Agriculture emphasised the importance of food production in a statement on 26 March 2020, saying “this declaration reemphasises that the entire food value chain, from farm-related operations, agro-processing and food manufacturing, logistics and related services, wholesale and retail services, and all support functions that ensure efficient delivery of the agro-food system have to be functional to ensure that there is access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. The safety of our farmers and farm workers on and off work is very important to us.
We have to ensure that critical agricultural production activities such as harvesting continue uninterrupted – this is done under strict prescripts as provided for in Regulation No. 398 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 and Department of Health COVID-19 hygiene protocol. General hygiene measures must, therefore, be strengthened.
MEC Ivan Meyer’s full statement is available here.
The Lockdown Regulations dated 25 March 2020 can be found here. The Amendments to the Regulations dated 26 March 2020 will be posted here soon.