lockdown work

Image via Adobe Stock

Back to work: Lockdown restrictions eased for these nine industries

It’s official: Thousands of workers are being told to resume their business during lockdown on Thursday. Here’s who made the cut for an early return.

lockdown work

Image via Adobe Stock

With the extended lockdown now in place until the last minute of Thursday 30 April, some industries have been clamouring for an early return to work. A total of nine individual sectors have been granted their wish, after Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma amended some of the current regulations.

Back to work for some of our key industries

According to NDZ, this marks the start of a gradual “re-introduction” phase for our businesses. The first nine out of the block today are still tightly linked to the “essential services” category. Dlamini-Zuma also revealed why the government want to get the wheels of the economy turning once more:

“We won’t lift these regulations all in one go. There are measures that will remain after lockdown. Not everything will go back to normal. Some things will remain for the future. Weekly, we will announce which industries will be re-opened and detail how they will be allowed to operate.

“As we get ready to lift the lockdown in an orderly fashion, we must decongest our ports. Our items already there must then be exported. As lockdown eases, we don’t want our ports to be full before we get going. Some restrictions will remain in place for a long time, but we will bring workers back step-by-step.”

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Lockdown regulations: Who can now go back to work in South Africa?

There are some obvious inclusions, as oil and mining get the green-light (with caveats). However, we also have a couple of obscure additions to the list, but the government are adamant all services are essential to keep the country going. Those returning to work, include the following:

  • Oil refineries will return to work at full capacity.
  • Mineworkers are being asked to operate at 50% – leaving shafts empty and inactive for too for long poses “seismic dangers”.
  • Suppliers who provide goods to essential services will open. These facilities must stay operational. Artisanal trades for emergency repair work, and stores selling hardware/components will fall under this category.
  • Mechanics and professionals who maintain and fix vehicles must also return to work ahead of schedule.
  • Plumbers, electricians and other tradespersons will now be allowed to operate in emergency situations.
  • Fishermen and women have been given permission to sell their goods – but they aren’t allowed to market cooked food.
  • Employees at retail call centres have been told to return to the office. Operatives are needed to help people settle their store accounts and claim insurance in these unsure financial times.
  • Employees for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) have permission to leave their homes and work in public.
  • IT professionals who help essential services keep their systems working, should also be allowed to work.