3 new lockdown rules for South Africa including the opening of more small businesses


Government has published a number of new directives which amend what can be sold during South Africa’s level 4 lockdown.

The directives, which were all published on Tuesday (12 May) by separate government departments, outline items which can be sold by retailers as well as the businesses that can sell them.

Each directive is explained in more detail below.


Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, has issued a directive which will allow for the sale of cars during level 4 lockdown restrictions.

The following trading activities are now permitted during level 4:

Trade-in new and used cars;
Wholesale trade of new and used cars by original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and importers;
Export and import of all category of cars through national ports of entry under strict guidelines;
Trade-in purchases, car lease scheme returns and wholesale trading of used cars.

To facilitate the sales of cars and the proper functioning of the supply chain, Patel also stated that administrative workers – such as those conducting roadworthy assessments – may also return to work.

While the sale of vehicles will be welcomed by the automotive industry, Patel has also announced a number of restrictions around the sale of cars. These include:

All dealerships and used car outlets will operate with up to 30% of employment subject to a maximum of one employee or customer per every nine square metres of floor space: Provided that small businesses may operate with a minimum of five employees;
The majority of car sales will be done remotely via the internet or eCommerce or telephone. Personal contact will be kept to a minimum and only on appointment under very strict hygiene and social distancing conditions in line with the regulations;
Home delivery of vehicles with full sanitisation will be mandatory;
These restrictions will slowly be eased in the coming weeks and months.


Patel also issued a directive which outlines which clothing items can be sold by retailers during lockdown.

These items include:

All baby and toddler clothing and footwear;
All children’s wear;
All maternity wear;
All adult sleepwear and gowns;
All adult underwear;
Restricted footwear including boots, slippers, sneakers and trainers;
Restricted outerwear including exercise apparel, knitwear, dresses, long-sleeved tops, pants and leggings;
Restricted accessories such as beanies, socks and gloves;
Restricted bedding items such as duvets, pillows, comforters.

Small businesses

Minister of small business Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has published a directive outlining what small and micro-businesses are allowed to sell during the lockdown.

In line with the current level 4 regulations, Ntshavheni confirmed that the following business can operate:

-Small scale bakeries and confectioneries;
-Small scale hardware stores;
-Informal restaurants and shisanyamas for home deliveries only;
-Trades, herein referred to as artisanry businesses, necessary for rendering emergency repair work, including plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, glaziers, roof repair work, tow trucks, vehicle recovery and automobile repairs (motor mechanics), including small -scale vehicle services centres/ workshops, small -scale motor body repair shops, and fitment centres;
-Sole traders within the clothing and textiles and confectionery business;
Cooperatives operating under permitted businesses in line with the regulations.

– Businesstech

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