What are the essential services?

The following services are considered essential and will carry out their functions during the lockdown:

  • Medical health (including mental health), laboratory and medical services, and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases
  • Disaster management, fire prevention, fire-fighting and emergency services
  • Financial services necessary to maintain the functioning of the banking and payments environment, including the JSE and similar exchanges, as well insurance services and medical scheme administration
  • Production and sale of essential goods
  • Grocery stores, including spaza shops
  • Electricity (including vital demand management services), water, gas and fuel production, supply and maintenance
  • Critical jobs for essential government services as determined by the Head of National or Provincial departments in accordance with the guidance by the DPSA, including those providing social grant payments
  • Birth and death certificates and replacement ID documents
  • Essential municipal services
  • Care services and social relief of distress provided to older persons, mentally ill persons, persons with disabilities, the sick and children
  • Wildlife management, anti-poaching and animal care and veterinary services
  • Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunication infrastructure and services
  • Production and sale of any chemicals, hygiene products, pharmaceuticals for the medical or retail sector
  • Cleaning, sanitation, sewerage, waste and refuse removal services
  • Services related to the essential functioning of courts, judicial officers, the Master of the High Court, Sheriffs and legal practitioners required for those services
  • Essential SARS services defined by the Commissioner of SARS
  • Police, peace officers, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers, correctional services officials and traffic management services
  • Postal services and courier services related to transport of medical products
  • Private security services
  • Air-Traffic Navigation, Civil Aviation Authority, Cargo Shipping and dockyard services
  • Gold, gold refinery, coal and essential mining
  • Accommodation used for persons rendering essential services, quarantine, isolation and the lockdown
  • Production, manufacturing, supply, logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance and repair in relation to the rendering of essential services including components and equipment
  • Transport services for persons rendering essential services and goods, and transportation of patients
  • Services rendered by the Executive, Members of Parliament, Members of the Provincial Legislature, Members of Local Councils, the Judiciary, traditional leaders and National office bearers of Political parties represented in Parliament
  • Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission, Gender Commission, and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, and the Public Protector
  • Transport and logistics in respect of essential goods to neighbouring countries
  • Tow trucks and vehicle recovery services
  • Call centres necessary to provide health, safety, social support, government and financial services
  • Harvesting and storage activities essential to prevent the wastage of primary agricultural goods
  • Implementation of payroll systems to the extent that such arrangement has not been made for the lockdown, to ensure timeous payments to workers
  • Critical maintenance services which cannot be delayed for more than 21 days and are essential to resume operations after the lockdown

What are the essential goods?

The goods that will produced and available to buy during the lockdown include the following:


  • Any food product, including non-aloholic beverages
  • Animal food
  • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any food product
  • Cleaning and Hygiene Products
  • Toilet paper, sanitary pads, sanitary tampons, condoms
  • Hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol, household cleaning products and personal proactive equipment
  • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above
  • Products for care of babies and toddlers
  • Personal toiletries, including haircare, body and face washes, roll-ons, deoderants, toothpaste


  • Medical and hospital supplies, equipment and personal protective equipment
  • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above

Fuel, including coal and gas. 

Basic goods, including airtime and electricity.