ECONOMIC INTERVENTIONS

The Economic Interventions Workgroup aims to help minimise the negative impact of the COVID-19 virus on the South African economy by connecting government policy makers with industry experts, acting as a feedback mechanism from business to government, and communicating information, actions and policies to the business community.

FOCUS AREAS

Macroeconomic Impact Assessment

Public Transport, and the Related Hygiene Measures

Combating Predatory Pricing and Panic Buying

Industrial Policy and Local Manufacturing

IMPORTANT RESOURCES

Coronavirus South African Resource Portal

Solidarity Fund

Posters and other resources

Gazetted regulations and guidelines

FAQs

Yes, the official list was published in a government gazette on 25 March 2020 and updated with additional content on 26 March 2020 and on 2 April 2020

The government gazette of 25 March 202026 March 2020 and 2 April 2020 provide for a list of essential business services that may continue to operate under the lockdown:

  • Those listed on Schedule A and B of the regulations [See Annex A, below for guidance]
  • Those industries that are already officially registered under the Labour Relations Act as an Essential Service. The list of such services is available on CCMA website, under advice and information sheets, and is up to date.

Businesses are encouraged to adopt a responsible and practical approach to identify whether you should remain in operation, either in full or in part. The lockdown cannot be so broad as to render the lockdown effort ineffective. Normal commercial operations do not qualify as essential services unless its employees are able to work remotely from their place of residence. Bottom line - only remain open if you are a part of supplying a product or service that is essential under the current circumstances.

A consolidated list of the essential businesses covered in the regulations is attached as ANNEX A -List of essential goods and services

This is currently not obligatory in terms of the regulations to register on bizportal. This portal has been put in place as an additional measure to give comfort to business and employees if they get stopped by police officers. It will also help government understand and better manage essential business services during this time.

While it is currently not a legal condition of operation, it is recommended, that all registered companies operating an essential business registers on the CIPC bizportal website, as this may become a requirement in the future.

Note: only registered companies are able and currently required to get certificates from bizportal. All of the following are automatically exempt and do not require a DTIC/CIPC certificate:

  • All public sector health departments and facilities including the NHLS. NICD, Provincial Departments and hospitals, local government primary health care and clinics;
  • All essential business sole traders - e.g. GPs or informal traders;
  • All medical NGO’s such as Medicins san Frontiere

The lockdown regulations require voluntary compliance and responsible self-identification as an essential business or part thereof. You do not need to get a specific exemption. It is recommended, however, that you register on the CIPC bizportal website if you are a company as it is possible this may become a requirement in the future.

Yes, there are basic functions that will be important to maintain or to prevent the destruction or significant impairment of working areas, plant, machinery or inventory, or to permit orderly shutdown arrangements of businesses.

The essential services list also makes provision for the maintenance and security of property and IT infrastructure to enable businesses to operate financial and payroll systems in particular.

These particular essential services are covered in the Annexure B  Regulations as follows:  Reference to Regulation
financial services necessary to maintain the functioning of the banking and payments environment including the JSE and similar exchanges, as well as Insurance services Annexure B, B(3)

 

telecommunications infrastructure and services Annexure B, B(13)
private security services Annexure B, B(20)
critical maintenance and repair in relation to the rendering of essential services including components and equipment Annexure B, B(24)
implementation of payroll services during the lockdown Annexure B, B (32)
maintenance related to the supply and production of electricity, water, gas and fuel services Annexure B, B(6)
  1. Identification as an employee of an essential businesses

The employee should have a letter on an official company letterhead, as well as official personal identification (ID document, passport or other official photo ID) with her/him when travelling to and from work. This can be presented to law enforcement officers if need be. Although SAPS have been instructed to accept electronic permit (e.g. employee’s phones) this has not been tested and not recommended at this stage.

In addition, employees are advised to also carry:

  • a copy of the proof of registration on the http://www.bizportal.gov.za/ CIPC website
  • a company identity card, if applicable; and
  • Note that there is a new requirement for employees who have to travel between metropolitan and district areas, or between provinces for work. Such employees are required to obtain a permit which corresponds substantially with Form 2 of the amended regulations, from his or her nearest magistrate's office or police station to travel between a metropolitan area, district or provinces for work (see Annex D for an example)

See ANNEX C - Draft letter for essential services employers for a suggested letter for essential services employees required to travel to an essential business site.

See ANNEX D - Permit to travel to another metropolitan area, district or province regulation 11B(8)(D) for a permit similar to Form 2 of the Regulations which is required  for employees travelling between metropolitan and district areas or between provinces has been included in Annex D

  1. Transport for employees of essential businesses

Employers are required to ensure that staff are travelling to work safely under the lockdown. Where possible, employers should arrange and ensure transport for essential workers. Transport provided by the employer (i.e. private vehicles) may operate outside of the fixed public transport hours and must be regularly sanitised, with vehicle capacity of not more than 60% of the licensed capacity according to the regulations. Note, there is, however, some confusion about the maximum capacity allowed. We will update this once clarity is in place.

In the meantime, please refer directly to the provisions of the regulations for more details and the directives issued by the Minister of Transport on 26 March and 31 March.

Note the restrictions on public transport hours, including buses and taxis below.

 

Yes, the operating times for public transport and private transport arrangers by essential services businesses is regulated by the directives issued by the Minister of Transport 26 March and 31 March as follows:

Public transport services may ferry essential services employees from 05h00 to 10h00 and from 16h00 to 20h00.

 

Minibuses and Midibuses Public Transport are provided with the following grace periods for picking up and dropping-off of passengers and are permitted:

a)     to proceed to a pickup point an hour before the operating times; and

b)     to proceed to drop off points an hour after the drop off times

c)     to proceed to a pick-up point without loading passengers at 15h00 in order to start picking up at 16h00 to 20h00 to finish dropping off passengers at 21h00.

Private institutions or companies may make arrangements for the transportation of their employees who are rendering essentials services in line with the operating shifts, work time schedules as determined by:

a)     the responsible head of operations, Manager;

b)     Head of the Department; or

c)     a person with responsible authority within such Institution.

 

The operating shifts or work schedules or timetable should be stamped and signed by such person with authority.

  1. Stay calm and be respectful
  2. Understand the complaint and respond
  3. Produce relevant documentation (as per above) and ask the law enforcement officer to verify this with your company representative, if applicable
  4. Only if you can’t resolve the problem, reach out to a Provincial SAPS Commissioner or an attorney, as appropriate

Note: Details of Provincial SAPS Commissioner and a limited list of attorneys is contained in ANNEX B - List of provincial saps commissioners and limited list of attorneys

Generally, if someone has tested positive, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and Department of Health will step in. The employee and all contacts will need to self-isolate for 14 days and will be tested before returning to work / public. The business site will have to be decontaminated before normal operations resume.

Yes, in terms of amended regulations 11B(4A)(b) services in relation to international markets and which provide or maintain essential services as it relates to health, social support, government and financial services may be authorised by the cabinet members for health and trade and industry.

An essential business will be required to demonstrate that it is transporting an essential product or part of an essential service for the local or international market. A letter on a company letterhead should explain why the transportation is part of an essential service, referring to the relevant provision in the regulations. It is advisable to also carry the CIPC certificate.

 

 

Yes, this will continue. Ports, including inland ports are required to remain open for transportation of essential products and services across the border.

We encourage people to continue to remain productive and work from home if this is feasible provided that this does not require physical contact with non-residents, or impair the Covid19 response. This is specifically provided for in the amended regulations under 11B(1)(b) (as amended).

Please contact your industry association / contact person and ask them to consolidate and then feed through queries and comments to a central coordinating point as quickly as possible.

We appreciate that these are uncertain times and you may have many questions. We need to take responsibility for applying cool heads as to what is required of us under the current circumstances. Government will need to rely on us to self-comply, using our best judgement in the circumstances.

We ask all businesses and people to take this lockdown seriously and to help us respond as  effectively as possible to the country’s efforts to contain and minimise the impact of Covid19.

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