Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
9 Apr 2020
3:21 pm

Spaza shops permitted to operate during lockdown irrespective of owners’ nationality

Citizen Reporter

This after the small business development minister issued directives regarding the regulations governing the selling of groceries during the lockdown period.

Mpho Ebeneza Spaza owner Nkhesani Mbombi serve Democratic Alliance Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga at her Spaza Shop in Johannesburg, 11 September 2018, as part of listening Tour to Ivory Park. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

After issuing directions for small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) that will be selling groceries during the lockdown period, Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has reminded citizens that stores that meet the requirement are legally allowed to operate irrespective of the nationality of their owners.

“The minister would like to point out that in terms of the recently gazetted directions, grocery stores which include corner shops, spaza shops and fruit and vegetable stores are permitted to operate during the lockdown period – irrespective of the nationality of the owners,” said the small business development ministry in a statement on Tuesday.

The regulations have been published in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002).

In terms of the initial lockdown regulations, all enterprises operating within the borders of South Africa were expected to close during the lockdown period except for enterprises designated as providers of essential goods and services.

RELATED: All spaza shops should be open, and informal food traders will be allowed, says NDZ

The recently gazetted directions require SMMEs to adhere to the following:

1. Hold permits issued by their respective local municipality allowing them to trade in line with the provisions of the Business Act 71 of 1991 as amended.

2. No person may stay overnight in the grocery store as this in contravention of the Food Safety and Health Standards.

3. Only the sale of food staff and basic necessities is permitted. Grocery stores must not sell products or goods that are prohibited by the lockdown regulations.

4. The grocery stores must uphold health and hygiene requirements by:

  • Maintaining a social distance among customers and between the trader and customer of at least one metre.
  • Disinfecting and sanitising trading spaces in line with the directions issued by the department of health.
  • Spaza shop owner and informal food traders currently trading without permits may apply for temporary permits, and in case of non-South African citizens, the business owner (a) must have been lawfully residing in the republic and must hold a valid passport with a visa issued by the department of home affairs in terms of section 10 of the Immigration Act, 2002 (13 of 2002), authorising him or her to operate a business; (b) must alternatively hold an asylum seekers’ permit issued in terms of section 22 of the Refugees Act, 1998 (Act 130 of 1998), which allows him or her to work. Permission to operate will be linked to the period covered by the asylum seekers’ permit.

Enquires can be directed to the department of small business development on 0860 663 7867. Alternatively, people can email

The gazetted regulations can be found on the department’s website.

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(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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