Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel announced on Thursday that businesses allowed to provide essential services were required to seek approval from the department of trade, industry and competition (DTIC) in order for them to trade during lockdown.
Patel said in a statement that the matter comes in terms of the regulations published yesterday by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Regulation Gazette No. 11062.
He said such businesses were required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s (CIPC) BizPortal website to obtain a certificate from the commission that allowed them to continue trading.
“The BizPortal website will contain a menu icon listed as ‘essential service businesses’, through which an application can be made to the CIPC.
“The application will be a simple declaration requiring minimal registration details, type of business/trade involved in, what trading name, if any is used, and whether it meets the requirements contained in the essential services list, the contact details of the person applying as well as the number of employees that will be working during the lockdown period,” Patel said.
The minister said the CIPC registry will then pre-populate the remaining company information and email a certificate stating that the business will be allowed to remain trading.
The certificate can be used by businesses as evidence to show authorities that they are allowed to trade and that its employees can go to work without being restricted.
Patel emphasised that if businesses made a false application to the CIPC, and were indeed not an essential service as per the government regulations, such would be taken as a fraudulent application and would render the applicant liable to criminal prosecution and sanction.
The service is available as of Thursday morning, 26 March at the start of business trading hours.
Apply for the certificate at ww.bizportal.gov.za