The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel, has announced that all businesses allowed to provide essential services are required to seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition in order to trade during the period of the lockdown in terms of regulations published yesterday, 25 March 2020.

Such businesses are required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission Bizportal website at and obtain a certificate from the Commission that allows them to continue trading. The Bizportal website contains a menu icon listed as ‘Essential Service Businesses’ through which an application can be made. 

The application is a simple declaration requiring minimal registration details, type of business/trade involved in, what trading name is used (if any) and whether it meets the requirements contained in the essential services list, the contact details of the person applying as well as 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. This service became available this morning, 26 March 2020, at the start of business trading hours.

Further to this, we draw your attention to the attached PDF, specifically Annexure B. Schemes, as essential services, should apply for approval as outlined above using the form provided here in Word format. Please ensure that applications include a letterhead and original signatures. Note too that essential workers will be required to carry identification further to permits being granted.

Download the Government Gazette

Download the Permit