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Staying open during lock down

Bo on 26 March 2020
Staying open during lock down

If you want to offer your products or services during the national lock down, you must register as an essential service provider. Here’s a breakdown of who can apply and how to get an essential services certificate from the government.

What is an essential services certificate?

During the national lock down period (26 March 2020 - 16 April 2020) only businesses that provide essential services are allowed to open and trade. In order to continue trading these businesses will be required to have an essential services certificate.

Do I need an essential services certificate?

If you or any of your staff members need to leave their homes in order to operate your business then you will need an essential services certificate.

What types of businesses qualify for an essential services certificate?

Only businesses which produce/provide/distribute goods and services listed below will be allowed to apply for an essential services certificate:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Fire services
  • Port, docking and airport services and undertaking
  • Postal
  • Production of fuel and lubricants
  • Health and medical
  • Solid waste management and public cleaning
  • Radio communication including broadcasting and TV
  • Telecommunication
  • Transport by land, water or air
  • E-Commerce
  • Security
  • Food supply
  • Wildlife
  • Hotels and accommodation

Here is a detailed list of all essential services.

How do I get an essential services certificate?

You can apply for an essential services certificate online on the CIPC BizPortal website by following the steps outlined below.

** Please note that supplying incorrect information on your application is a criminal offence and will lead to prosecution.

** The government application website can be temporarily broken and sometimes certificates can take a while to send. If you have any issues you can contact BizPortal support.

  1. Go to the application website.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the “new application” option.
  3. Enter your enterprise number (e.g. K2020123456) and click search. If you do not know your enterprise number you can find it here.
  4. Complete the required fields and click "continue" to submit the application.
  5. The essential services certificate will be sent to your email address.

** ** The application website can be temporarily broken and sometimes certificates can take a while to send. If you have any issues you can contact them here.

What will employees need when travelling outside of their homes?

Once you have your essential services certificate, you will need to give employees a permit to perform essential services, which must be presented should they be stopped en-route to work.

Here is a direct link to the permit.

This form must be completed, signed and stamped by the company.

While travelling, your employees must have the following documentation at all times:

  • Identity document
  • Permit to perform essential services
  • Copy of company essential services certificate

Should you not have the above documents, you will be sent home.