Community Scheme COVID-19 Code Of Conduct/Policy & Workplace Plan (Level 4)21st May 2020
On 15 March 2020, in terms of Section 3 of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, the Covid-19 pandemic was classified as a national disaster, due to its potential severity and magnitude. Pursuant thereto, on 29 April 2020, the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations were published. These Regulations can be made available upon request.
One can undoubtedly expect that the Covid-19 Virus will affect owners and occupants in Community Schemes for a protracted period of time. It is important to note that Community Scheme Executives have an obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure that an occupier does not contravene the Law, and this includes the Regulations. The Community Scheme cannot exceed its powers and make different and/or conflicting rules or directives contrary to the national legislation, being the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 and Regulations, as well as the Community Schemes Ombud’s Directives. Over and above the Scheme Executives’ fiduciary functions, the common law duty of care must be taken into account.
The Scheme should operate on the assumption that there are Covid-19 positive cases within the Scheme and the Scheme’s management must act accordingly. Where the Scheme has employees who are required to return to work, and where such return is permitted in terms of the Regulations, a Workplace Plan must be developed prior to persons returning to work. A very basic draft Workplace Plan (on the assumption that the Scheme has less than 10 employees) is set out below.
*Please note that this is a draft and each Scheme must be considered for individual needs and the draft amended accordingly.
During this unprecedented time, much has been said about draconian neighbours, snitches in schemes and high-handed Trustees. It is vital for everyone to maintain a heightened sense of dignity and integrity during this period, being considerate and compassionate to one another, and at the same time keeping within the boundaries of the law, which are prescriptive, and not a guideline.
In light of the above, and in line with the Regulations, the following policies shall be applicable in the Scheme.
Code of conduct/policy
- 1. A Trustee or Director shall be appointed as the Compliance Officer, and such Compliance Officer shall be assigned in writing to oversee and ensure compliance with all the relevant Regulations and this Policy document. Owners and Residents shall be notified of the person so assigned.
- Trustees and Directors in Schemes are aware of privacy laws and possible defamation claims, and to this end will not notify residents of Covid-19 positive cases within the Scheme as the cases come to their attention.
- Trustees, Directors and their management team will at all times ensure that cleaning staff and contractors are aware of the positive cases in the Scheme and where higher risk areas exist.
- Covid-19 disclaimers will be placed at the entrance to the Scheme as well as in visible spots around the Scheme.
- Should there be lifts in the Scheme, a sign should go up outside the lift directing that a maximum of 2 persons are permitted in the lift dependant on size due to social distancing regulations.
- Any owners or occupants who transgress the Regulations or this Policy document will be reported to the authorities.
- The Community Scheme is to provide cloth facemasks for all management and staff to wear on common property areas, which must be worn at all times whilst in public.
- Hand sanitiser shall be made available at the entrance to the Scheme.
- To err on the side of caution, where contractors are utilised, copies of their relevant permit ought to be obtained.
Movement of persons
- Every person is confined to his or her place of residence.
- Residents are only permitted to leave their place of residence for reasons set out in the
Regulations, such as, for example:-
- to obtain permitted goods or services;
- to perform essential or permitted services;
- to exercise (in accordance with what is stipulated below).
- Only residents and medical caregivers may enter and leave the Scheme.
- Residents shall not be permitted to have any social visitors.
- Visitors shall only be permitted to drop off essential goods.
- Only live-in staff shall be permitted into the Scheme. Any domestic staff who are not live-in shall not be permitted entry into the Scheme.
- All contractors undertaking essential services entering the complex must sign Covid-19 disclaimers as well as non-live in staff who enter the Scheme to care for the sick, disabled or children.
- Moving residence is only permitted under certain circumstances, and provided the relevant permit is obtained.
- There is a prohibition on evictions until the last day of Level 4.
- Persons may not leave their place of residence between 20h00 and 05h00 daily.
All common area amenities and facilities shall be closed until further notice.
*Consider listing common facilities and how each shall be treated.
Common property areas
- Residents shall be permitted to exercise (walk, run or cycle) on common property areas, provided it is during the hours of 06h00 and 09h00 daily. Such exercise may not be conducted in groups.
- No residents are allowed to gather on common property or gather in a unit. Under no circumstances are residents from different dwelling units to congregate or walk, run or cycle together.
- All persons must wear a cloth face mask or any appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when on the common property areas.
- Persons must also comply with the social distancing requirements when on common property areas, unless such persons reside together.
- Biometric systems should be deactivated.
Maintenance and repairs
- All non- essential maintenance is prohibited.
- Plumbers, electricians and lift contractors will only have access for emergencies.
- Gardening is currently not permitted.
All deliveries are to be collected by the resident from the entrance gate.