Businesses providing essential services must seek approval to trade during lockdown

26 March 2020 - 07:44 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
If you make a false application to the CIPC, you will render yourself liable to criminal prosecution and sanction.
If you make a false application to the CIPC, you will render yourself liable to criminal prosecution and sanction.
Image: 123RF / maridav

Businesses providing essential services during lockdown are required to seek approval from the department of trade & industry to operate.

“Such businesses are required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) Bizportal website at www.bizportal.gov.za and obtain a certificate from the commission that allows 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,” said trade and industry spokesperson Sidwell Medupi.

The application, Medupi said, will be a declaration requiring minimal registration details, such as the 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 and the number of employees who will be working during the lockdown period.

The CIPC registry will then pre-populate the remaining company information and e-mail a certificate stating that the business is allowed to remain trading.

“The certificate can then be used as evidence to authorities that the business has been given government permission to trade and that its employees are able to have unrestricted movement only in the course of that trade.

“It should be stressed that if you make a false application to the CIPC and are not an essential service as per the government regulations, such will be taken as a fraudulent application and will render you liable to criminal prosecution and sanction,” said Medupi.

The department said the service will be available on Thursday morning, at the start of business trading hours.

SA goes into lockdown at midnight on Thursday, until April 16.


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