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  • Writer's pictureLawtons Africa

Is your business an “essential service”?

Author: Vicky Frazao – Associate Designate

* Article supervised by Imraan Mahomed Director: Practice Area Leader Employment/Labour Law & member of the Management Board

Here is what you need to know to continue trading during the lockdown:

The Regulations for the 21-day nation-wide lockdown declared by the President were published yesterday evening.

Annexure B to the Regulations sets out a list of essential goods and services that are exempt from the lockdown.

This is in addition to all services that are designated as essential services in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

The Regulations also provide that persons performing essential services must have a permit authorising them to work during the lockdown which must be signed by the head of the institution. The format of the permit is provided in Annexure C.

This permit must accompany all persons who will be performing essential services during the lockdown, together with some form of identification.

Although not expressly stated in the Regulations, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, in a statement yesterday evening, indicated that all businesses that will be rendering essential services during the lockdown must first seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition in order for them to trade during this period.

An application must be made to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to obtain a certificate that allows the business to continue trading. Applications can be made at the following website:

The application process is a simple one and only requires minimal information such as the type of business/trade involved in, trading name, contact details and the number of employees required to work during the lockdown. The certificate will serve as proof that the business is authorised to continue trading during the lockdown.


Lawtons Africa is a South African law firm. With roots that grew out of seeds sown in down-town Johannesburg in 1892, our history features various changes and different names. Our team of lawyers, including directors, consultants, associates and candidate attorneys is highly qualified, market-recognised and skilled. For further information, visit

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