After President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a State of Disaster and then a national lockdown, a list of businesses recognised as essential services was gazetted (Regulation Gazette 43148) indicates that essential goods and services include grocery stores, pharmacies, spaza shops, and funeral services, among others.
According to the DTI the process is as follows:
- Go to the Bizportal website
- After clicking on the Services tab, on the top right of the page, you will be taken to a new page with icons. The icon you want to click on next is the Covid-19 essential services icon – which is bright red
- Once you click on this Covid-19 essential services icon, you will be taken to another page where you will be able to make an application to the CIPC. The page includes a list of essential services. Scroll down to the bottom where you will find the application icon
- According to the DTI, the application will be a “simple declaration”, requiring minimal registration details, including this such as the type of business/trade, trading name, whether it meets the requirements contained in the essential services list. The list of essential services is available on the website too
- The person applying must fill out their contact details, as well as the number of employees that will be working during the lockdown period. The CIPC registry will then pre-populate the remaining company information
- A certificate stating that the business is allowed to remain trading will be emailed or can be downloaded from the site.
The certificate can then be used as evidence to authorities – to show the business has been given government permission to trade, according to the DTI. The business’s employees will have unrestricted movement, only in the course of the trade.
“It should be stressed and noted that if you make a false application to the CIPC, and are indeed not an essential service as per the government regulations, such will be taken as a fraudulent application and will render yourself as applicant liable to criminal prosecution and sanction,” the DTI warned.
Steps for those in the office products industry
As it currently stands in the Government Gazette, stationery items are not listed as essential during lockdown.
However, if your company supplies or manufactures products that support essential workers or essential businesses, you can make an application to the CIPC.
- As a reseller, your customer has to be an essential service provider who orders from you. Your customer needs to be registered on bizportal and obtain a certificate
- You must be registered on bizportal and obtain a certificate
- You can place an order with the supplier, who also has to register on bizportal and obtain a certificate
- The reseller has to arrange the courier, who also has to register on bizportal and obtain a certificate