Tonight, as the clock strikes midnight, we’re entering 21 days of national lockdown.
For many businesses, that means shutting the doors, but those that provide essential services during the lockdown are required to seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC) in order for them to trade during the period of the lockdown.
Businesses must apply for permission on the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s (CIPC) BizPortal website.
You may have to refresh before it loads, due to heavy demand, but you’ll eventually be greeted by this:
Once there, the site clearly states that businesses can only apply if they belong to this list of essential services categories:
You can find a complete list of the 28 jobs which are considered ‘essential services’ here.
More on the application process via MyBroadband:
The application will be a declaration requiring minimal registration details including:
- Type of business/trade involved in.
- What trading name if any is used.
- Whether it meets the requirements contained in the list of the essential services.
- The contact details of the person applying.
- The number of employees that will be working during the lockdown period.
The CIPC registry will then pre-populate the remaining company information and email a certificate stating that the business is allowed to remain trading.
When that certificate has been received, it must be used as evidence that permission has been granted to continue trading, especially with regards to the movement of employees during the lockdown period.
I have been informed that some businesses may have to pay a R175 registration fee, so bear that in mind.
Also, it really isn’t worth chancing your arm if you don’t fall into one of those essential services categories. This is from the government’s official statement on the matter:
It should be stressed and noted that if you make a false application to the CIPC, and are indeed not an essential service as per the government regulations, such will be taken as a fraudulent application and will render yourself as applicant liable to criminal prosecution and sanction.
You’ve been warned.
That same release says that enquires should be directed to Sidwell Medupe (Departmental Spokesperson), on (012) 394 1650, or 079 492 1774, via email at MSMedupe@thedti.gov.za.
Again, there is a high demand on the BizPortal website, so you may need to refresh a few times before it loads.
For more on the lockdown rules and regulations, head here.
Small business owners can also find Marnus Broodryk’s free COVID-19 business survival guide here, which contains some great advice on how to weather this storm.
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