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MBABANE – The strengthened partial lockdown measures have led to the freezing of public auctions. 

Last Thursday,  Acting PM Themba Masuku announced strengthened partial lockdown measures that came into effect at midnight last Friday, January 8, 2021 (Saturday morning) banning all gatherings, among other things. On Gatherings:

All gatherings of all sizes were banned except for burials. The pronouncement also affected the auctions alongside religious, social and sporting gatherings, among others.

The new measures will be reviewed after 14 days.

Communications Officer in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade Dumsile Maseko confirmed that the auctions were among the affected gatherings following government’s decision. She was sought for clarity by this publication following reports suggesting that auctions could still continue with 50 people in attendance.

However, it is not all gloom and doom, as there are still options to be explored. 

These include online and sealed bid auctions.  

A sealed bid is placed in an envelope. The sealed bid is not opened until the stated date, at which time all bids are opened together. 

The highest bidder is usually declared the winner of the bidding process.

Meanwhile, the measures have been put in place in response to the rapid rise in COVID-19 infections in the country. This past weekend alone (Friday to Sunday) government through the Ministry of Health reported 662 new cases and 27 deaths.

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