The national lockdown has meant a huge learning curve for most of us throughout industry, and has also generated many questions. People are uncertain whether they are ‘essential service’ suppliers or not. There is also confusion regarding what exactly are considered ‘essential goods’.
After many years of working with various regulations, we have a certain admiration for the rate at which the regulations relating to the lockdown, together with the two amendments, have been published by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. The general confusion surrounding the intention of the regulations as well as the number of industry queries subsequent to the publication may just give us a bit more understanding as to why the process of promulgation of regulations is typically so lengthy – so to try avoid misinterpretation.
It is important that you have all the relevant regulations and the applicable amendments on hand, to ensure that the information you are basing your practice on is correct. To see the regulation and the subsequent first and second amendments, please click on the following links:
- Regulations issues in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (R.318), published 18 March 2020
- Amendment of the regulations issued in terms of section 27(2) (R.419), published 26 March 2020
- Amendment of the regulations issued in terms of section 27(2) (R.446), published 2 April 2020
Food manufacture and food sales are considered essential services. It is perhaps important to reiterate that the provision of safe food is essential. This means that all auxiliary services which aid in this process (including testing laboratories) are also considered essential.
That said, as an industry we must still take utmost care that the only staff on site are those required to ensure food production is maintained, and the safety of these individuals is paramount. The listing of essential services is not to be taken lightly; the health of all South Africans is important, and should be our priority.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
For all the regulations and guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, you can find them here