Consumers went all out on panic buying earlier this week. However, ‘panic compliance’ has now spread through the trucking industry – and understandably so as the final lockdown regulations were only issued late afternoon (March 25th) by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs. We reproduce the Regulations here. Further urgency was added to the pot when it was announced later last night by Mr Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade and Industry that businesses conducting essential services must register to obtain a certificate. The address of this site is www.bizportal.gov.za.
It was stated yesterday that this service would be available from open of business this morning, (March26th), but when we tried, it was down. As I write this, it is still not fully functional (13h50). This is extremely worrying for the lockdown starts tonight and thousands of companies will be applying for their compliance certificates.
To see if you are an essential service, you must check out Annexure B ‘Categorisation of Essential Goods and Services during Lockdown (Regulation 11A).’ A permit then has to be issued by the head of the Institute (your company) as a Permit to Perform Essential Services (Regulation 11B(3) to every person conducting the service. That person must be able to produce that permit – along with his/her ID – if stopped by the police or army. As mentioned above – and very important – is that if you do qualify as per the regulations as an essential service, you then have to apply to the DTI on the above website. The requirement is as follows: “All businesses that will be allowed to provide essential services are required to seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC) in order for them to trade during the period of the lockdown in terms of the regulations published by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Regulation Gazette No. 11062.” If you are approved, a certificate will then be issued. But, also as mentioned, the site is not fully functional – which is a huge concern.
In fact, I have just now received a statement issued by Gerhard Papenfus, Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA), saying that NEASA has continued to attempt to access the BIZPORTAL website with no luck. “The portal has not been functional at any stage and even if it can be accessed, company registration numbers are reflected as incorrect. This is even more shocking in light of the fact that non-compliance constitutes a criminal offence in terms of the regulations which carry a heavy penalty.”
Join our LinkedIn Covid-19 Trucking Group to ask questions
Link – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8920586/
With the recent lockdown and Covid-19 crisis, there has been a lot of uncertainty with regards to Covid-19 and what happens within the transport industry. In true trucking spirit, we have created this group to bring us together as one. You are welcome to ask any questions and we will attempt to find the answers. Also 21 days in lockdown – share your experience? This group is intended to educate and help where we can together in the trucking industry.