Ethicolegal issues relating to the South African government’s response to COVID-19

M Labuschaigne


Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, is one of the last continents to have recorded COVID-19 cases, and is expected to be severely impacted by the virus. The lack of intensive care capacity and under-resourced public healthcare settings in many African countries, coupled with high levels of poverty and poor access to healthcare services, applies to some extent to South Africa (SA). The SA government’s swift and decisive response to address COVID-19 in March 2020, although praised by many, is increasingly being criticised for its disproportionate, contradictory and harsh consequences, not to mention a range of legal challenges that have followed since the introduction of lockdown measures in terms of the Disaster Management Act. This article examines some of the ethical and legal issues relating to the government’s approach to COVID-19.

Author's affiliations

M Labuschaigne, Department of Jurisprudence, School of Law, College of Law, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2020;13(1):23-28.

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-06-08
Date published: 2020-06-08

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