Essential Services Business Permit for Your Company

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An Essential Services Business Permit is mandatory for businesses that need to stay open during lockdown.

The President of South Africa has declared a National Lockdown from 26th March 2020 until 30th April 2020. During this period, only businesses that provide essential services are allowed to open and trade. These businesses need to apply for a permit in order to trade. Supplying incorrect information is a criminal offense and will lead to prosecution.

All enterprises operating within the borders of the Republic of South Africa are expected to be closed during the lockdown period. Only enterprises which produce and/or provide and/or distribute goods and services, as listed below, are exempted from the restrictions contemplated in the regulation issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act. Note absolute minimum staff necessary to operate safely.

Essential Services Business Permit
Essential Services Business Permit


  • Food-
    • Any food product, including non-alcoholic beverages;
    • Animal food; and
    • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any food product.
  • Cleaning and Hygiene Products-
    • Toilet paper, sanitary pads, sanitary tampons, and condoms;
    • Hand sanitizer, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products, and personal protective products; and
    • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above.
  • Medical-
    • Medical and hospital supplies, equipment and personal protective equipment; and
    • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any of the above.
  • Fuel, including coal and gas.
  • Basic goods, including airtime and electricity.
Essential Services Business Permit
Essential Services Business Permit

Categories of essential services shall be confined to the following services:

  • Medical, Health (including mental health), Laboratory and medical services;
  • Disaster management, Fire prevention, Fire fighting and Emergency services;
  • Financial services necessary to maintain the functioning of the banking and payments environment, including the JSE and similar exchanges, as well as Insurance services;
  • Production and sale of the goods listed in point 1, above;
  • Grocery stores, including spaza shops;
  • Electricity, water, gas and fuel production, supply and maintenance;
  • Critical jobs for essential government services as determined by Head of National or Provincial Departments in accordance with the guidance of the DPSA, including social grant payments;
  • Birth and death certificates, and replacement identification documents;
  • Essential municipal services;
  • Care services and social relief of distress provided to older persons, the mentally ill, persons with disabilities, the sick, and children;
  • Funeral services, including mortuaries;
  • Wildlife management, Anti-poaching, Animal care and Veterinary services;
  • Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunication infrastructure and services;
  • Production and sale of any chemicals, hygiene products, and pharmaceuticals for the medical or retail sector;
  • Cleaning, sanitation, sewerage, waste and refuse removal services;
  • Services related to the essential functioning of courts, judicial officers, the Master of the High Court, Sheriffs, and legal practitioners required for those services;
  • Essential SARS services defined by the Commissioner of SARS;
  • Police, peace officers, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers, correctional services officials and traffic management services;
  • Postal services and courier services related to transport of medical products;
  • Private security services;
  • Air-traffic navigation, Civil aviation authority, Cargo shipping and dockyard services;
  • Gold, gold refinery, coal and essential mining;
  • Accommodation used for persons rendering essential services, quarantine, isolation and the lockdown;
  • Production, manufacturing, supply, logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance, and repair in relation to the rendering of essential services, including components and equipment;
  • Transport services for persons rendering essential services and goods, and transportation of patients;
  • Services rendered by the executive, members of Parliament, members of the provincial legislature, members of local councils, the judiciary, traditional leaders, and national office bearers of political parties represented in Parliament;
  • Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission; Gender Commission; and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities; and the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector; and
  • Transport and logistics in respect of essential goods set out in point 1, above to neighbouring countries.

Contact us for assistance with applying for an Essential Services Business Permit, at the cost of R1, 250.00.

Essential Services Business Permit
Essential Services Business Permit