MEC David Maynier on helping businesses understand and adapt to Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown regulations
1 April 2020
We would like to thank all businesses in the province for the great sacrifices they are making during the lockdown to help us stop the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the Western Cape.
We know that times are tough, and so we continue to work hard to back businesses and to save businesses, jobs and the economy in the Western Cape.
Central to our strategy to support businesses and the economy in the Western Cape is helping businesses understand and adapt to the lockdown regulations so that as many businesses as possible can continue to operate during this challenging time.
And so, we’ve been in regular contact with stakeholders at national government and at the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape to get clarity on the regulations for lockdown and how they impact on businesses and workers in the Western Cape.
Clarity on the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) certificate
In the first instance it is important to inform businesses in the Western Cape that if you provide an essential service it is NOT a legal requirement for you to obtain a Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) certificate in order to operate.
The CIPC certificate, which can be obtained from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition on the bizportal.gov.za website, is not compulsory and is not a requirement of the lockdown regulations.
Furthermore, unless you and your staff can work from home during the lockdown, if your business continues to operate during the lockdown and is NOT providing an essential service you are committing a criminal offence. Law enforcement will close your business and may even arrest you, regardless of whether you have the CIPC certificate or not.
Further clarity on essential services selling essential goods
We realise also that there has been some confusion about what stores are able to remain open to provide essential goods. We can confirm the following (in alignment with SAPS Western Cape):
Grocery stores include large retail chains as well as smaller corner grocery stores, fruit and veg shops, butchers and convenience stores at filling stations.
Pet and veterinary stores are permitted to be open. They may ONLY sell animal food and animal medicines.
Health food shops that sell food, hygiene products and / or cleaning products are permitted to be open. If open, these stores may ONLY sell essential goods.
Cellphone shops are not allowed to be open. They would only be allowed to sell airtime, and this can be bought at any grocery store, spaza shop or online.
Money lending businesses are not permitted to be open.
Cigarettes may be sold during the lockdown, but only together with essential goods.
Businesses can deliver essential goods to people’s homes, but they can't deliver hot meals or any non-essential goods to people's homes.
Providing permits for your staff to travel to work
Secondly, it is critical that if your business provides essential services, you must provide each of your staff with a permit, in writing, in the prescribed form, which gives them permission to leave their home and travel to work.
Advise your staff that they must carry this permit with them whenever they travel, together with a recent ID, so that they can show enforcement officers who may stop them while they are travelling.
Your staff may only use these permits when they are travelling to and from work, as the purpose of the lockdown is to reduce unnecessary movement so that we can stop the spread of Covid-19 infection. Unnecessary travel risks their lives and the lives of others.
Please remember that the purpose of the lockdown is to stop the spread of Covid-19, so even if your business is allowed to operate during the lockdown, if your staff can work from home, please allow them to do so. And, if they must come into the workplace then please ensure that every safety and hygiene measure is implemented to ensure social distancing and stop the spread of Covid-19 in accordance with the requirements of the regulations.
Resources and support for businesses in the Western Cape, including a “Corporate Toolkit”
We know that you are doing your utmost to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in your business, and ensure the health and safety of your staff and customers.
To support you, we have created a “Corporate Toolkit” which includes posters, collateral and other resources for you to distribute across your business to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Visit our website to download the Corporate Toolkit.
In addition, more details on lockdown regulations, the financial relief currently available to businesses, and the answers to many other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for businesses can be found on our websites:
Any businesses who need assistance can email their questions to [email protected].
We are all in this together and every single one of us is responsible for stopping the spread of Covid-19 in the Western Cape.
We will all have to pull together, and we will all have to work together, in the coming days, and weeks, and months because, in the end, it is up to all of us to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the Western Cape.
Issued by Francine Higham, Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, 1 April 2020