What you should know about ‘lockdown’

Since President Ramaphosa’s announcement regarding the National lockdown in South Africa, members of the industry have many questions on what companies are required to do to continue operating.

A government gazette regarding these details has been published.  Amendments to this Gazette were also published. The Final Regulations for Lockdown have been circulated by the Dept of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.    As and when we receive information, it will be posted below, as well as distributed to the industry on the various communication channels.

The categories below are updated daily:

IF YOU ARE A COMPANY PROVIDING AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE PLEASE REGISTER ON http://bizportal.gov.za.  Please click SERVICES on the top task bar of the website. Under SERVICES there will be a red box COVID 19 Essential Services.

This is a central data base that will be used for enforcement, so it is critical that if you are providing an essential service as per the regulations, you need to register as soon as possible. 

Website Note:Please note that confirmation has been received that it is not obligatory to register in terms of the regulations, but 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. The online portal is open, but overloaded. The portal will remain open and businesses can continue to register as and when they are able to do so.

Procedure:

  1. Access the portal by clicking on the following link bizportal.gov.za;
  2. Click on Services;
  3. Scroll down and click on the Red Button (Covid-19);
  4. The next page will require of you to enter your “Enterprise Number”. Your Company registration number will be used, however please note the way to capture the number is important; (Registration number for illustrative purposes is accepted to be 1997/154267/23)
    1. If registered as a “Pty Ltd” start by entering an “M” followed by the registration number excluding the / (forward slash) eg. M1997154267, then click on search;
    2. If registered as a “cc” start by entering a “B” followed by the registration number excluding the / (forward slash) eg. B1997154267, then click on search;
    3. In some instances where the above is not working we have found that entering a “K” instead of an “M or B” also works.
  5. If you successfully navigate past the “Enterprise Number” you will be required to answer 3 questions:
    • Identify the sector you supply to which qualifies you to be classified as an Essential Service Provider by using the drop-down box and select the applicable sector;
    • The second question must only be completed if the Enterprise is trading under a different name, if not, leave this block empty; and
    • The last question requires of you to enter the number of employees that will be required to report for duty.
  6. Submit, if your application is successfully captured you will receive a “Congratulation” note and be referred to the download function. Make a screen shot of this page for the interim;
  7. The download function is currently not functioning, and you are advised to frequently revisit the site and test the function; the print option on the portal was removed last night and certificates will be emailed.
  8. The site is extremely slow and you may find it extremely frustrating to operate, please persist with attempts until successful.

The regulations issued by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs provide for a form or certificate to be issued by companies who provide essential services to their workers, to be carried when traveling to and from work.

The system is currently running with full functionality. We ask that companies be patient through the registration process, as there are large volumes presently being experienced. No companies will be prejudiced by any delay in the system. The service will continue to run beyond the onset of lockdown and it is not a requirement that companies complete registration before the lockdown begins.

Only companies permitted in terms of the lockdown regulations will be allowed to continue operating through the period. Possession of a CIPC certificate does not constitute permission to operate during the lockdown. Companies must be guided by the regulation as to whether their business operations constitute essential services. Any misrepresentation of information is a criminal offence and will be prosecuted. Already we have seen companies selling on-premise consumption of alcohol registering through the platform. Other examples include non-essential grooming for pets. We will advise these companies that this is not permitted, and may take further action if required.

Companies may issue letters to their workers independent of the registration process, which should have been done ahead of the lockdown.

Enquiries:
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
E-mail: MSMedupe@thedti.gov.za
Follow on Twitter: @the_dti