Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavhen

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has issued Directions for Small Micro and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMMEs) operating grocery stores, including corner shops, spaza shops and fruit and vegetable stores.

“The Minister would like to point out that in terms of the recently gazetted Directions, grocery stores which include corner shops, spaza shops and fruit and vegetable stores are permitted to operate during lockdown period - irrespective of the nationality of the owners,” the Ministry of Small Business Development said in a statement on Tuesday.

The regulations have been published in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002).

In terms of the initial lockdown regulations, all enterprises operating within the boarder of the Republic of South Africa were expected to close during the lockdown period except for enterprises which are designated as providers of essential goods and services.

The recently gazetted Directions require SMMEs to adhere to the following:

1. Must hold permits issued by their respective local municipality allowing them to trade in line with the provisions of the Business Act 71 of 1991 as amended.

2. No person may stay overnight in the grocery store as this in contravention of the Food Safety and Health Standards.

3. Only the sale of food staff and basic necessities is permitted, grocery stores must not sell products or goods that are prohibited by the lockdown Regulations.

4. The grocery stores must uphold the Health and Hygiene requirements by:

–       Maintaining a social distance amongst customers and between the trader and customer of at least 1-metre.

–       Disinfecting and sanitizing trading spaces in line with the directions issued by the Department of Health.

–       Spaza shop owner and informal food traders currently trading without permits may apply for temporary permits, and in case of Non-South African citizens, the business owner (a) must have been lawfully residing in the republic and must hold a valid passport with a visa issued by the Department of Home Affairs in terms of section 10 of the Immigration Act, 2002 (13 of 2002), authorising him or her to operate a business (b) must alternatively hold an asylum seekers’ permit issued in terms of section 22 of the Refugees Act, 1998 (Act 130 of 1998), which allows him or her to work. Permission to operate will be linked to the period covered by the asylum seekers’ permit.

Enquires can be directed to the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) on 0860 663 7867, alternatively people can email [email protected]. The gazetted regulations can be found on the department's website. – SAnews.gov.za

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