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African governments ease COVID-19 restrictions and reopen economies

A growing number of African countries have begun to ease COVID-19 related regulatory restrictions. Some countries, such as Kenya, Rwanda, and Senegal resumed international flights in August, while other countries like South Africa and Nigeria are only now opening their borders. For a continent that slipped into recession for the first time in a quarter … Continue Reading

South Africa Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

South Africa Eases COVID-19 Restrictions On September 16, 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 of Risk Adjusted Strategy as of midnight on September 20, 2020. This is in part in response to the relatively low levels of infections and the government led interventions … Continue Reading

South Africa Eases COVID-19 Restrictions with the Transition to Alert Level 2

On August 15, 2020, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) announced the extension of the national state of disaster. The national state of disaster was declared under Government Gazette No 43096 of 15 March 2020 (and extended by Government Gazette Nos 646 of June 5, 2020 and 765 of July 13, 2020), … Continue Reading

South African High Court rules COVID-19 Lockdown Regulations Unconstitutional

Following the declaration of the National State of Disaster on March 15, 2020, a number of regulations have been enacted to contain and minimise the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa. On June 2, 2020, Judge Norman Davis of the South African High Court found the regulations issued in terms of section 27 of the … Continue Reading

Register Now: Law and Crisis Management Event with The Honorable Eric Holder, Wednesday June 3rd

Join us tomorrow, June 3, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. for a webinar featuring The Honorable Eric Holder, 82nd Attorney General of the United States, to discuss the topic of Law and Crisis Management: Working with Lawyers in Business, Government, and Society to Manage the Challenges of COVID-19. You may register for this … Continue Reading

South Africa Prepares to Ease Lockdown Restrictions

On May 13, 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the government’s intention to ease restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. This announcement comes seven weeks after South Africa first announced a national state of disaster in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) (the “Act”). This decision … Continue Reading

South Africa’s Economic Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic (Part III)

As part of his ongoing response to the COVID-19, President Ramaphosa announced on April 21 that the South African Government was launching a further R500 billion (approximately $26.3 billion) social and economic stimulus package – the biggest ever once-off stimulus injection in South African history. The President described this giant stimulus as constituting the second … Continue Reading

COVID-19: Business Rescue, a Viable Option for South African Companies

As South African businesses are left reeling in the wake of the escalating coronavirus crisis and the imposition of a 35-day lockdown , we look at the implications for South African companies and how those in financial difficulty may find some relief under the Companies Act 71 of 2008 (Companies Act). On Friday, March 27 … Continue Reading

South Africa’s Economic Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic (Part II)

On 6 April, 2020, we published an article outlining South Africa’s initial economic response in support of its already ailing economy against the adverse economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  Two weeks have passed since we first published that article, and we think it is prudent to provide this follow-up, outlining the latest developments in … Continue Reading

COVID-19: Which South African Businesses Can Continue Operations During the Extended Nation-wide Lockdown?

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the “DITC”) has issued guidelines for companies performing essential services to continue operations during the extended lockdown period, in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) (the “Act”). The guidelines provide as follows: Only essential service providers registered in terms of the Companies … Continue Reading

Audio and Key Takeaways Re: Covington’s Ability to Help Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa

As a complement to our March 26, 2020 blog “Covington’s Ability to Help Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa,” you may access the audio of our briefing call here. Key takeaways from the briefing can be accessed here. With African governments increasingly taking strong actions to impede the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including … Continue Reading

COVID-19: Which South African Businesses Can Operate During the Nation-wide Lockdown?

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, has announced that all businesses permitted to provide ‘essential services’ during the national lockdown period in South Africa must first seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the “DTIC”). If obtained, the approval enables a business to operate during the mandatory lockdown period … Continue Reading

Covington’s Ability to Help Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa

With African governments increasingly taking strong actions to impede the spread of the COVID-19 virus – including in a number of jurisdictions, imposing full lockdowns – we are able to provide assistance to our clients, financial institutions, developmental finance organizations, companies and organizations on the continent. We are available to get on a call at … Continue Reading

Coronavirus: Potential Implications for Africa

The Coronavirus (hereinafter “COVID-19”) is upending lives around the world—equally in developed and developing countries. Some are already affected by the deadly impact of COVID-19 (e.g. China, Italy, and France), while others’ lives have been altered due to efforts taken to “flatten the curve,” to ensure hospital systems are not overrun with patients in need … Continue Reading

Top Issues to Watch in Africa in 2020

Commencement of the AfCFTA. The landmark African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is slated to go into force on July 1, 2020. When fully implemented, the trade agreement will eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers, and substantially increase intra-regional trade to volumes worth over $3.3 trillion. Twenty-nine countries have deposited their instruments of ratification, and Eritrea … Continue Reading

Openness is key to Africa’s success in a data-driven world

Shift to a services era While Africa’s trajectory remains full of daunting challenges, there is reason to be optimistic. Ratification of the Continental Free Trade Agreement demonstrates critical collaboration between African leaders, and promises to unlock the region’s potential. Equally important, growing investments in broadband ensure that affordable access to leading technology will accelerate the … Continue Reading

It’s Time for AGOA 2.0

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is set to expire in 2025. That may be the distant future for some but given the time required to pass trade legislation in the U.S. Congress, it’s the functional equivalent of tomorrow’s mid-day meal. Preparation for the post-AGOA trade relationship between the U.S. and Africa needs to … Continue Reading

Forests are on Fire: What the UN Climate Action Week Means for Africa

Fires have ravaged Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, burning over 1,330 square miles of tree cover, and placing people, wildlife, and their habitats at risk. Experts warn that further degradation could inhibit the forest’s ability to release oxygen and absorb heat-trapping carbon dioxide—a key function for combatting climate change. The fires in the Amazon have been met … Continue Reading

Zimbabwe: Challenges Persist After Fall of Mugabe

Momentous events in Zimbabwe during the last two years inspired hope among many Zimbabweans that they would experience meaningful political change and sustainable economic growth in their lifetimes. In November 2017, former President Robert Mugabe—who ruled Zimbabwe for nearly 40 years—was ousted in a military coup and his former deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa was installed … Continue Reading

Can the U.S. and Africa Prosper Together?

Prosper Africa, the core of the Trump administration’s policy, is a state of mind. This is not a criticism. The program is an ambitious effort to get every American political appointee, diplomat, and civil servant engaged on African issues to be on the look-out for commercial opportunities for American businesses and to help American companies … Continue Reading

Beyond The FCPA: New U.S. Regulator Enforcing Against Foreign Corruption

Yet another U.S. regulator is entering the foreign corruption space. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is a civil agency that oversees commodity and derivatives markets in the United States. It enforces the Commodity Exchange Act, a set of statutes that are enforced criminally by the U.S. Department of Justice. The CFTC has authority to impose … Continue Reading
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