Six weeks ago, on the day SA entered the first three-week lockdown period aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus, this newspaper expressed the hope that common sense would prevail in the way the regulations imposed in terms of the newly proclaimed state of disaster were managed.

Alas, within a few weeks we were bemoaning trade & industry minister Ebrahim Patel’s nonsensical and high-handed ban on the sale of hot cooked food, despite there being no basis in either law or the emergency regulations to do so. The regulations were subsequently amended to conform with Patel’s decree, but the government was never moved to explain why it was so important that the sale of hot food should be verboten. ..

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