sandal
Photo: Facebook.

T-shirts, closed-toe shoes and crop bottoms were the buzz words on South African social media today, after the Minister of Trade Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, released a bizarre and inexplicable list of clothing you can and cannot buy under Level 4 lockdown regulations.

sandal
Photo: Facebook.

“Bizarre,” “Kafkaesque,” “mad,” “Soviet-type regulations,” “petty,” “monumental embarrassment,” “a mockery,” “East German,” these are just a few of the reactions on social media about Patel’s latest announcement, which was meant to clarify directions on the sale of winter clothing, footwear and bedding in Level 4 lockdown.

The regulations – “Plucked from Alice in Wonderland” – specify you can only buy shirts “to be worn under jacket coats and/or knitwear”; crop bottom pants so long as they are worn with boots and leggings. And you cannot buy any shoes besides closed-toe ones.

“These regulations are nothing other than the continued paternal obsession by Minister Patel and the ANC to dictate to South Africans what they can and can not do,” said Dean Macpherson, shadow minister of trade. “It is reminiscent of how people were forced to live during the existence of East Germany.”


“It is now beyond doubt that Minister Patel is running amok without any restraint from President Ramaphosa. He has been allowed to pick winners and losers in the economy, to determine what is “fair” and now has gone to the extreme to determine what clothes people can buy and how they should wear them,” said Macpherson.