President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday extended the alert level four Covid-19 restrictions for another two weeks and lifted the ban on restaurants and eateries.
Ramaphosa also addressed the ongoing violent protests with a warning that those who are involved in acts of vandalism will be arrested and prosecuted.
South Africa is in the throes of a third wave, driven by the more deadly Delta variant.
“It remains our priority to break the chain of transmission by limiting social contact,” said Ramaphosa in a live address.
“We are experiencing a third wave that is more severe than the first and second waves.”
The average daily new cases stand at 20 000 and in the last two weeks, more than 4 000 people have died from Covid-19.
Ramaphosa said gatherings remain prohibited, the 9pm to 4am curfew continues, the sale of alcohol remains prohibited, and schools remain closed until 26 July.
However, the president lifted the noose around the suffocating restaurant industry.
Ramaphosa said restaurants and eateries would be allowed to operate at half capacity provided they follow strict Coivid-19 prevention protocols.
He said gyms and fitness centers may also open. Agriculture and game reserves will be allowed under certain conditions.
Ramaphosa said his government was doing all it could to reduce the impact of level four on businesses and ordinary people.
He said details of who qualifies for TERS relief will be released later.
Expired business licenses have been extended.
As expected the #Free Zuma linked violent protests came under the spotlight.
Ramaphosa used his address to condemn the violent protests engulfing some parts of the country, where haulage trucks have been torched, roads barricaded with burning tyres, and shops looted.
He said while some people may be “hurt and angry at this moment” there can never be any justification for the violence that negatively affects other citizens.
Ramaphosa decried the acts of violence that were based on ethic mobilisation.
He also warned against sharing old videos “to cause confusion and fear”.