Business permit to operate during lockdown as an essential service

Businesses offering essential services as per the Disaster Management Act (see list below), must register on Biz Portal

Click on the ‘Services’ tab at the top of page, then the red ‘COVID-19 Essential Services’ tab and then the ‘New Application’ below the list of essential services.

Once registered, a certificate will be issued via email/available for download that can be used to confirm trade as well as limited travel for purposes of trade.

Please keep this certificate on hand to show to relevant enforcement personnel upon request.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY (27/03/2020) NO OTHER FORMS your company requires to fill in and you NEED NOT submit information/registration via the Fire Department NOR Disaster Management – forms you may have seen like the Permit 11B (3), which applies to government essential services.

As a last resort, if you are unsure if your operations qualify as essential or are unable to access the Bizportal website, please email

What is listed as an essential service during the lockdown?

In the Regulations made in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act published on 25 March 2020, “essential service” is defined the services as defined in section 213 of the Labour Relations Act, and as listed below.

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

  1. Medical, Health (including Mental Health), Laboratory and Medical services;
  2. Disaster Management, Fire Prevention, Fire Fighting and Emergency services;
  3. Financial services necessary to maintain the functioning of the banking and payments environment, including the JSE and similar exchanges, as well as Insurance services;
  4. Production and sale of the goods listed in category A of Annexure B of the regulations, as covered in the previous FAQ;
  5. Grocery stores, including spaza shops;
  6. Electricity, water, gas and fuel production, supply and maintenance;
  7. Critical jobs for essential government services as determined by Head of National or Provincial Departments in accordance with the guidance by the DPSA, including Social Grant Payments;
  8. Birth and death certificates, and replacement identification documents;
  9. Essential municipal services;
  10. Care services and social relief of distress provided to older persons, mentally ill, persons with disabilities, the sick, and children;
  11. Funeral services, including mortuaries;
  12. Wildlife Management, Anti-poaching, Animal Care and Veterinary services;
  13. Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunication infrastructure and services;
  14. Production and sale of any chemicals, hygiene products, pharmaceuticals for the medical or retail sector;
  15. Cleaning, sanitation, sewerage, waste and refuse removal services;
  16. Services related to the essential functioning of courts, judicial officers, the Master of the High Court, Sheriffs and legal practitioners required for those services;
  17. Essential SARS services defined by the Commissioner of SARS;
  18. Police, peace officers, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers, correctional services officials and traffic management services;
  19. Postal services and courier services related to transport of medical products;
  20. Private security services;
  21. Air-traffic Navigation, Civil Aviation Authority, Cargo Shipping and dockyard services;
  22. Gold, gold refinery, coal and essential mining;
  23. Accommodation used for persons rendering essential services, quarantine, isolation and the lockdown;
  24. Production, manufacturing, supply, logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance and repair in relation to the rendering of essential services including components and equipment;
  25. Transport services for persons rendering essential services and goods, and transportation of patients;
  26. 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;
  27. 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 Protection and Deputy Public Protector; and
  28. Transport and logistics in respect of essential goods to neighbouring countries.
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