Health Shops are allowed to trade in essential items during the lockdown

Cape Government MEC, David Maynier, has confirmed that Health Shops may operate in the Western Cape during the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa, subject to lockdown regulations.

Following high level engagement with the Ministry of Health, Western Cape, and with the Western Cape Government, the HPA reports that in collaboration with the SAPS WC, Minister Maynier (Western Cape Minister of Finance & Economic Opportunities), that Health Shops in the Western Cape can trade.

Back business to save business

Minister Maynier thanks all businesses in the province for the great sacrifices they are making during the lockdown to help us to stop the spread of Coronavirus in the Western Cape.

He acknowledges that times are tough, and the Western Cape Government remains dedicated to continue to work hard to back businesses and to save businesses, jobs and the economy in the Western Cape.

Health products Image by monicore from Pixabay
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

Central to the Western Cape Government’s 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.

Accordingly, the Western Cape Government has 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 bizportal.gov.za, 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 or not you have the CIPC certificate.

Further clarity on essential services selling essential goods

The Western Cape Government realises also that there has been some confusion about what stores are able to remain open to provide essential goods, and have confirmed 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.

• 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.

The Western Cape Government knows 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, they 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 the Western Cape Government 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 these websites:

http://www.supportbusiness.co.za

http://www.westerncape.gov.za/coronavirus

Any businesses that need assistance can email their questions to [email protected]

Contact the HPA on its dedicated email address: [email protected] for any further information or assistance.

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za