President Mokgweetsi Masisi has cancelled the Form A and Form B permits that have been issued. The president has in recognition of the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 3 of the Emergency Powers Act, made amendments to cancel the permit and replace it with a five (5) days valid permit.
According to the latest Government Gazette, the decision was made on the 5th of April 2020. This development is said to have come after realising that some members of the public are applying for the permits even though they do not fall within the bracket of essential service providers or in the list of those who need to access essential services.
Congestions were also experienced at various District Commissioners' offices thereby defeating the government’s efforts of preventing the spread of the virus through extreme social distancing measures. Under the mew guidelines, each ministry headquarters is to determine officers who will be authorised to sign off the permits. At District level, District Commissioner (DC) and the Head of the District Health Management Team (DHMT) will coordinate in overseeing the granting of permission to travel by authorised officers such as Senior Government Officials, Dikgosi, Council Secretary, Headmen, Head of School/Training Institution and Police Officers.
In a locality without the above, two Village Extension Teams (VET) approved by the District Commissioner will facilitate sign off on authorisation to travel. Typically, a health official should be part of the authorising team. According to the gazetted amendment, the authorised travel permit is valid for a maximum of 5 days from date of issue and can be renewed thereafter. Authorised officials are expected to submit a copy of all issued permits, plus an accompanying summary (report) of permits issued on a daily basis to the National Emergency Operations Centre.