Essential Service during lockdown

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Lockdown: Here’s the updated list of essential services in SA

The list of essential services able to operate during lockdown now includes plumbers, electricians and call centre staff.

Essential Service during lockdown

Image via Adobe Stock

The list of essential services in South Africa has been updated. According to the government, there are now 36 essential services allowed to operate during the lockdown period. 

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on Thursday 16 April, announced that workers like plumbers, electricians, mechanics and call centre employees can return to work as essential services. 

Dlamini-Zuma also said that should the lockdown be lifted on 30 April, it will be slowly phased out

What is an essential service?  

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus and, in doing that, South Africans were told to stay at home. 

If not for food, medication or social grants, no South African should be on the street — except for essential service workers. 

A list of essential services was created to operate during lockdown — services that the public could not do without during lockdown. 

Updated list of services allowed to operate during lockdown

Here’s the updated list of essential services for the remainder of the lockdown period: 

  1. Medical, Health (including Mental Health), Laboratory and Medical services and the National Institute for Communicable Disease; 
  2. Disaster Management, Fire Prevention, Fire Fighting and Emergency Services; 
  3. In terms of financial services; the banking environment (including the operations of mutual banks, co-operative banks, co-operative financial institutions and the Postbank); the payments environment, the financial markets; the insurance environment; savings and investment environment; pension fund administration; outsourced administration; medical schemes administration; and additional services designated in terms of the regulation. 
  4. Services necessary for the provision of social grants;
  5. Production and sale of certain goods like food and medication; 
  6. Grocery stores and wholesale produce markets, including spaza shops and informal vegetable and fruit traders; langanas operating in the Northern Cape and Western Cape; with written permission from a municipal authority to operate are required in respect of spaza and informal traders. 
  7. Electricity (including vital demand management services), water, gas, and fuel production, supply and maintenance; 
  8. Critical jobs for essential government services as determined by Head of National or Provincial Departments in accordance with the guidance of the Department of Public Services and Administration, including social grant payments and pension payments; 
  9. Birth and death certificates, and replacement identification documents; 
  10. Essential municipal services; 
  11. Care services and social relief of distress provided to older persons, mentally ill, persons with disabilities, the sick and children; 
  12. Funeral and cremation services, including mortuaries services and the transportation of mortal remains; 
  13. Wildlife management, anti-poaching, animal care and veterinary services; 
  14. Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunication infrastructure and services, including call centres critical for the support of such services; 
  15. Production and sale of any chemicals, hygiene products, pharmaceuticals for the medical or retail sector; 
  16. Cleaning, sanitation, pest control, sewerage, waste and refuse removal services; 
  17. Services related to the essential functioning of courts, judicial officers, the minister of the High Court, sheriffs and legal practitioners required for those services; 
  18. Essential SARS services defined by the Commissioner of SARS; 
  19. Police, peace officers, traffic officers, military medical personnel and soldiers, correctional services officials and traffic management services; 
  20. Postal services and courier services related to the transport of medical products; 
  21. Private security services; 
  22. Air-traffic Navigation, Civil Aviation Authority, air charters, Cargo Shipping and dockyard services; 
  23. Gold, gold refinery, coal and essential mining;
  24. Accommodation used for persons rendering essential services, quarantine, isolation and lockdown; 
  25. Production, manufacturing, supply logistics, transport, delivery, critical maintenance and repair in relation to the rendering of essential services including components and equipment; 
  26. Transport services for persons rendering essential services and goods and transportation of patients; 
  27. 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; 
  28. Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission, Gender Commission and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, and the public protector and deputy public protector, and the Independent Electoral Commission are included as essential services. 
  29. Transport and logistics in respect of cargo and goods to neighbouring countries; 
  30. Tow trucks and vehicle recovery services; 
  31. Call centres necessary to provide health, safety, social support, government and financial services, debt restructuring for the consumer of retail services and access to short term insurance policies as a result of reduced incomes or loss of income; 
  32. Harvesting and storage activities essential to prevent the wastage of primary agricultural goods. Implementation of payroll systems to the extent that such an arrangement has not been made for the lockdown, to ensure timeous payments to workers; 
  33. Critical maintenance services which cannot be delayed for more than 21 days and are essential to resume operations after the lockdown; 
  34. Trade necessary for rendering emergency repair work including plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, glaziers, roof repair work and emergency automobile repairs for persons rendering essential services and for the public transport vehicles permitted to operate;
  35. Trade necessary for emergency auto mobile repairs for persons rendering essential services; and
  36. Information and Communication Technology services rendered to entities and institutions engaged in delivering essential services in terms of these regulations.