Frequently asked questions for employers
My business is suffering due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic - who can I talk to for advice and support?
We are committed to supporting businesses at this difficult time.
Together with Wesgro, the City of Cape Town and industry partners, we have activated the official “Covid-19 Content Centre for Business”, a virtual centre consisting of sector specialists and communications experts, set up to develop reliable content to assist industry and manage daily queries and business concerns.
Businesses requiring support are encouraged to send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My business is allowed to operate during Alert Level 4 – what must I do to open?
As an employer, you must provide every employee who comes into direct contact with members of the public as part of their duties with a cloth face mask to cover their nose and mouth or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place, or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth.
Every business premises, including, but not limited to a supermarket, shop, grocery store. retail store, wholesale produce market or pharmacy must:
- determine their area of floor space in square metres
- based on floor space in square metres, determine the number of customers and employees that may be inside the premises at any time with adequate space available
- take steps to ensure that persons queuing inside or outside the premises are able to maintain a distance of one and a half metres from each other
- provide hand sanitisers for use by the public and employees at the entrance to the premises
All employers must implement measures to promote physical distancing of their employees, including:
- enabling employees to work from home or minimising the need for employees to be physically present at the workplace
- the provision for adequate space
- restrictions on face to face meeting
- special measures for employees with known or disclosed health issues or comorbidities, with any condition which or may place such employees at a higher risk of complications or death if they are infected with Covid-19
- special measures for employees above the age of 60 who are at a higher risk of complications or death if they are infected with Covid-19
All courier and delivery services shall provide for minimised personal contact during delivery.
All businesses must designate a Covid-19 compliance officer who will oversee the:
- develop a plan for the phased in return of their employees to the workplace, prior to reopening the workplace for business. The plan must correspond with Annexure E in the regulations, be retained for inspection and contain the following information:
- which employees are permitted to work
- what the plans for the phased-in return of their employees to the workplace are
- what health protocols are in place to protect employees from Covid-19
- the details of the Covid-19 compliance officer
- phase in the return of their employees and manage the return of employees from other provinces, metropolitan and district areas
- develop measures to ensure that the workplace meets the standards of health protocols, adequate space for employees and social distancing measures for the public and service providers, as required.
Do I need to shut my business if it doesn't provide essential goods or essential services?
Yes, you must close your business if it doesn't provide essential goods or essential services, unless you and your staff are able to work from home during the lockdown.
If you cannot work remotely, you must stay home.
My business provides an essential service - do I need to have a Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) certificate in order to operate during the lockdown?
If you provide an essential service it is NOT a legal requirement for you to obtain a Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) certificate in order to operate.
The CIPC certificate, which can be obtained from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition on the bizportal.gov.za website, is not compulsory and is not a requirement of the lockdown regulations.
Furthermore, unless you and your staff can work from home during the lockdown, if your business continues to operate during the lockdown and is NOT providing an essential service you are committing a criminal offence. Law enforcement will close your business and may even arrest you, regardless of whether you have the CIPC certificate or not.
What essential goods can be imported?
The following essential good can be imported:
- Food products, including non -alcoholic beverages and animal feed
- Sanitary pads, sanitary tampons, condoms
- Hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products, and personal protective equipment, excluding cloth face masks
- Products for the care of babies and toddlers
- Personal toiletries, including haircare, body and face care products, roll-ons deodorants, and dental care products
- Medical and hospital supplies, medicine, equipment and personal protective equipment (excluding cloth face masks)
- Fuel, including coal, wood, paraffin and gas
- Hardware, components and supplies
- Components for aftersales vehicles services
- Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any these products
- Textiles required to produce face masks, and other personal protective equipment
- ICT equipment to facilitate work -from -home arrangements including computers, mobile telephones and other home office equipment.
What permitted goods can be exported?
- Agricultural, agro- processing, forestry and fishing products
- Manufacturing products and mining products permitted for production
Can I sell goods online through e-commerce platforms?
Yes, all goods can be sold online and delivered to customers, except for alcohol and cigarettes. Please ensure that you adhere to the health guidelines for e-commerce.
My business provides essential goods and/or services – what do I need to do to keep people safe?
How will enforcement officers know that my staff work in a business or organisation that provides essential goods or essential services?
The Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent – e.g. a farm-owner / manager) is allowed to duly designate in writing people whom are required to conduct essential services (i.e. issue a “permit”).
Please note that the permit must be duly stamped with the official stamp of your business or, in lieu of a stamp, attach a copy of your own stamped permit.
I have to close my business premises during the lockdown - can I still have security and maintenance staff operating at the premises?
Yes, you can still have security and maintenance staff operating at your business premises.
While at work, they must adhere to all safety and hygiene measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
I am a farmer - where can I find more information about operating during the lockdown?
For more information on the implication of the lockdown regulations on Agriculture and Agri-processing visit: www.elsenburg.com