In the rush to prepare and adapt to the 21-day lockdown, many businesses are in the dark about whether or not they are an essential service. Fake news and false claims spread across social media has further muddied the waters.
In reality, it’s easy to apply for essential service status by filling in an online form and downloading a certificate. Bear in mind that the nature of your business has to be listed as an essential service in the government gazette. You can download a copy here.
- Go to Bizportal.gov.za
- Click on the Services tab.
- Click on the Covid-19 services icon (it’s in red)
- Read carefully through the list of essential services to see whether you would qualify.
- Click on the application icon
- Complete the declaration and registration details, number of employees working during lockdown and contact details.
- Your certificate will be emailed or downloaded. Keep a copy on your premises to show authorities that you are able to trade. Your employees will have unrestricted movement during the course of trade.
Keep in touch with your customers to let them know you are still open and trading but encourage them to stick to official guidelines. Try to restrict traffic from customers to your premises. Make sure that hand sanitizers are available and brief your staff on good hygiene practices.
Gumtree will extend the validity of all adverts on the site to sixty days to ensure that all your marketing efforts will remain live after lock-down ends.