Update on portal to register businesses that provide essential goods and services during coronavirus lockdown
Fri, 27 March 2020
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, as of 4pm yesterday nearly 15 000 companies had already registered as providers of essential goods and services. Most of the registrations have been in food supply, medical and pharmaceutical services and transport services.
The portal is run by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to log company details only where companies comply with the regulations issued by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on 25 March 2020 in Government Notice 398 of Government Gazette No. 43148 (“lockdown regulations”).
The department clarified yesterday that the registration portal is only for registered companies operating in South Africa. Healthcare professionals registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, sole proprietors who provide essential goods and services (like spaza shops), and small-scale farmers would not have to register through the Bizportal.
Only companies, spaza shops, healthcare professionals and farmers permitted in terms of the lockdown regulations would be allowed to continue operating through the period. Possession of a CIPC certificate does not constitute permission to operate during the lockdown. Companies must be guided by the regulation as to whether their business operations constitute essential services. Any misrepresentation of information is a criminal offence and would be prosecuted. The department warned that they had already seen companies selling on-premise consumption of alcohol registering through the platform and would be advising these companies that this was not permitted and that they may take further action if required.
The system is currently running with full functionality and the department asked that companies be patient through the registration process, as there are a large volumes of registrations. They noted in a statement that no companies would be prejudiced by any delay in the system. The service will continue to operate during the lockdown period.
The myDorpie news coverage of the coronavirus crisis is particularly focused on official regulatory and other news obtained from official sources and documents.
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