You can move house during lockdown - but only for a short period

From now until June 7, the government will allow people to move house despite the ongoing national lockdown.

Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma published exemptions on movement, for people and their household effects during home relocations, on Thursday night.

Terms and conditions apply, such as the need for a police permit and a signed lease. According to the document, the new regulations allow the “movement of persons and goods” within SA during level 4 of the lockdown. It is, however, a “once-off” only.

According to the new rules, moves are allowed in instances where new lease agreements were entered into before or during the lockdown period or if the transfer of immovable property occurred before the lockdown period and this required a change in place of residence.

 

“A person who needs to travel to his or her new place of residence and to transport goods, which are limited to household furniture and effects ... is permitted to do so between the period 7 May 2020 to 7 June 2020,” the regulations read.

But to make sure you don't fall foul of the law, certain requirements have to be met before starting the move. These are:

  • obtain a permit to travel across provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries from the station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her;
  • the permit must correspond to Form 1 to the gazetted directions (available here on page 6);
  • indicate the persons who are part of the household who will be required to move;
  • have in his or her possession the relevant lease agreement indicating the date of expiry of the old lease and the date of commencement of the new lease, or the transfer documents attesting to the change in place of residence or change of ownership of property

For now, at least, there is also a specific window for moves, similar to the just-closed window for those who needed to change provinces to go back to work. That window is open from Thursday, 7 May, and will close again on 7 June if the lockdown level is not relaxed or new rules are not issued before then.

If you are moving between towns, you'll also need permission from the police. Travel "across provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries" require a permit issued by a station commander, Dlamini-Zuma said.

You need to have that permit, plus a signed lease or transfer documents on hand during travel.

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