A government statement said the Omicron variant, while highly transmissible, had seen lower hospitalisation rates than previous waves.
There had been "a marginal increase" in the number of deaths, it added.
The variant - first reported by South Africa last month - is spreading fast elsewhere leading to widespread curbs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a "tsunami" of infections from Delta and Omicron variants that could overwhelm health systems.
But in South Africa, the government announced on Thursday that some rules were being relaxed.