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Regulations for grocery retail SMMEs and informal food traders during lockdown

The Department of Small Business Development has issued directions to assist SMMEs operating grocery stores to comply with lockdown regulations.

FreddieA via Wikimedia

Although the regulations are mainly aimed at spaza shops and informal traders, they are applicable to all SMMEs.

The Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni pointed out that in terms of the recently gazetted directions, grocery stores – including corner shops, spaza shops and fruit and veg stores – are permitted to operate during lockdown irrespective of the nationality of the owners.

The 'informal food traders', as referred to in the regulations, are limited to fruit and vegetable informal traders, and the ‘Langanas’ who operate in the Northern Cape and Western Cape.

The provision of these goods is viewed as an essential service and these businesses may continue to trade under the following conditions:

• All enterprises must ensure that no more than the absolute minimum number of staff necessary to safely operate the enterprises are at work during the lockdown period. Furthermore, employers are encouraged to provide transport for their employees during the lockdown period

• Grocery stores are permitted to operate during the lockdown period irrespective of the nationality of its owner/s

• All spaza shop owners and informal food traders must hold a permit issued by their respective local municipalities allowing them to trade

• No person may stay in a grocery store overnight in contravention of the Food Safety and Health Standards

• Only the sale of foodstuff and basic necessities are permitted

• All staff must at all times carry a permit to perform essential services as contemplated in the lockdown regulations

• A stamp, or authorised signature, on the permit to perform essential services, is acceptable

• All staff must at all times carry a positive photo identification

• The grocery stores must uphold the health and hygiene requirements by:
- Maintaining a social distance among customers and between the trader and customer of at least one metre
- Disinfecting and sanitising trading spaces in line with the directions issued by the Department of Health

View full regulations here.
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