People may experience:

Runny nose
Sore throat
Difficulty breathing (severe cases)

Corona virus hotline - 0800 029 999

The Gauteng Provincial Government calls on persons with disabilities to share their challenges and the impact Covid-19 and the lockdown has had in their lives and communities. Participants from 15 years old, scholars, students, graduates, employees, business owners, entrepreneurs or unemployed are welcome to share their stories.

Using the #Asikhulume #Expressyourselfsend us a 1-2min vid outlining the impact of Covid-19 since the lockdown.


Pretoria, 27 March 2020: As the spread of COVID-19 surpasses the 1000 mark amid the 21-days lockdown period in South Africa, the Deputy Minister of Social Development Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu calls on the public to recognise the particular vulnerability and needs of persons with disabilities.

“We want to remind the public that persons with disabilities are among those who are particularly vulnerable to the negative impact of COVID-19, especially during this period of national disaster and the lockdown. We must not leave persons with disabilities behind,” says Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu.

To ensure that persons with disabilities and their families continue to receive services during the lockdown, residential facilities, including centre and community-based respite facilities will remain operational during the lockdown as they form part of the essential services.

“All the workforce and organisations operating these centres have been declared essential services and must be allocated permits to continue providing services. The outbreak of COVID-19 threatens the safety and wellbeing of persons with disabilities as some of them depend on support from others to maintain their independence. As a Department, we are putting measures in place to ensure the protection and continuity of support to persons with disabilities amid the 21-days lockdown and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”, said Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu.

“It is important that persons with disabilities and the organisations that represent them be considered not only as beneficiaries, but should also be included as partners in the national response COVID-19 pandemic. We call on organisations that provide family support and services to persons with disabilities to take all necessary measures to protect their personnel and those they serve at this critical time”, added Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu.

As part of the precautionary measures, the Department has suspended all visits and new admissions to residential and respite care facilities for persons with disabilities, with the exception of persons with disabilities in distress.

Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu also stressed that it is important that information on COVID-19 must be available in sign language and accessible means, modes and formats, including accessible digital technology to cater for the information needs of persons with disabilities.

To ensure that persons with disabilities receive accessible information during this critical time, the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Command Centre (0800 428 428) has a Skype Line (add “Helpme GBV” to your Skype contacts) and “Please Call Me” facility: *120*7867#. An SMS Based Line: 31531 for persons with disabilities also exists.


Media enquiries may be forwarded to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or

Nomfundo Xulu-Lentsoane
Director: Media Relations and Corporate Communication
Department of Social Development
Tel: +27 (0) 12 312 7475
Mobile: +27 (0) 81 829 0983
+27 (0) 66 480 6845

Lockdown update - Essential Numbers

Coronavirus Hotline - 0800 029 999

Coronavirus Whatsapp - 060 012 3456

National institute for Communicable Diseases - 0800 029 999

Presidential Hotline - 17737

South African Police Service Crime Stop and Anonymous Tip-offs - 08600 10111

Reporting undue price increases - 0800 141 880

Support to SMMEs In Distress 0860 663 7867

National crisis line - 0861322322

Family Violence, child protection and sexual offences unit - 0800 150 150

GB VF-related service complaints - 0800 333177

Gender-based violence command centre - 0800 428 428 or *120*7867# (free)

Women Abuse Helpline - 0800150150

Persons with Disabilities - sms 'help' to 31531

National Human Trafficking Helpline - 0800 222 777

Childline - 0800 055 555

Suicide Crisis Line - 0800 567 567 / 0800 456 789

AIDS Helpline - 0800 012 322

SASSA Call Centre - 0800 601 011

PostBank Call Centre - 0800 53 54 55

Department of Trade and Industry - 080 000 6543

Department of Home Affairs - 0800 601190

Department of Water and Sanitation - 0800 200 200

Department of Tourism - 0860 868 747

Download the lockdown update - essential numbers by clicking here

The below sites are provided free until the end of May for people isolated at home due to Coronavirus.

1. free audio books from amazon in 6 languages

2. Free virtual Visits to 17 European museums.

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Enjoy social distancing and keep healthy!

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Protective measures against the new coronavirus

Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

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