Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has drawn more criticism after he narrowly defined the categories of winter clothes, shoes and homeware that may be sold during level 4 of the national lockdown

The regulations gazetted by Patel limit the footwear that stores are permitted to sell to “closed toe” shoes, trainers and slippers.

They furthermore specify that the sale of cropped pants is allowed, but only if these items are meant to be worn with winter shoes and hose.

“The publication of these directions results from Minister Patel’s consultative meeting with industry leaders in the clothing, textile, footwear and leather sector held last Tuesday. All members of the industry master plan adopted it in November last year,” said the Department of Trade and Industry.

The department said the retail industry had requested that Patel gazette a list to spell out which items were allowed, and it was compiled with input from industry stakeholders.

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The list includes all baby and toddler clothing and footwear; children’s wear, school wear and school shoes; maternity wear; adult sleepwear and gowns; adult underwear; boots, slippers, sneakers and trainers; adult active wear, knitwear, jackets and coats, and bedding. Electric blankets are allowed.

Patel said the engagement with the industry had been positive.

He urged shoppers to favour South African-made items.

“I call on consumers to look for South African-made products, made proudly by local workers, so that we can rebuild the economy,” he said.

“The manufacturing and retail sector has been through a very difficult time and the resumption of clothing sales under level 4 of the new risk-adjusted approach will assist to provide greater levels of production and commerce in the sector.”

The official opposition Democratic Alliance said the time had come for President Cyril Ramaphosa to dismiss Patel, who has also drawn fire for refusing to allow e-commerce under level 4.

“These new clothing regulations are, frankly, mad and seem more at place during the 1980s under the Soviet Union than they do in a democracy like South Africa,” the DA’s trade and industry spokesperson, Dean Macpherson, said.

“It is now beyond doubt that Minister Patel is running amok without any restraint from President Ramaphosa. He has been allowed to pick winners and losers in the economy, to determine what is ‘fair’ and now has gone to the extreme to determine what clothes people can buy and how they should wear them.

“The president should now step up to the plate and sack Patel without delay.”


FULL LIST: Clothing, footwear and bedding permissible for sale under Alert Level 4

The following categories of clothing and footwear and bedding are permissible for sale by retailers during Alert Level 4 in terms of Part E of Table 1 of the Regulations:

3.1.  All baby and toddler clothing and footwear.

3.2.  All children’s wear, including –

3.2.1. outerwear,

3.2.2. underwear,

3.2.3. sleepwear,

3.2.4. school wear and school shoes;

3.2.5. footwear,

3.2.6. socks; and

3.2.7.     related accessories.

3.3. All maternity wear.

3.4. All adult sleepwear and gowns.

3.5. All adult underwear.

3.6. The following adult footwear categories:

3.6.1. boots;

3.6.2. slippers;

3.6.3. closed-toe heels;

3.6.4. closed-toe flat shoes;

3.6.5. sneakers and trainers;

3.6.6. smart closed-toe shoes; or

3.6.7. casual closed-toe shoes.

3.7. The following adult outerwear categories:

3.7.1. active wear, including gym, running and other exercise apparel;

3.7.2. knitwear,

3.7.3. jackets and coats;

3.7.4. dresses; long sleeved tops;

3.7.6. long sleeved t-shirts, denim jeans and denim jackets;

3.7.8. pants;

3.7.9. skirts;

3.7.10. short sleeved knit tops, where promoted and displayed as worn under cardigans and knitwear,

3.7.11. short sleeved t-shirts, where promoted and displayed as under garments for warmth;

3.7.12. leggings

3.7.13. crop bottoms worn with boots and leggings:

3.7.14. shirts, either short- or long-sleeved, where displayed and promoted to be wom under jackets coats and/or knitwear,

3.7.15. golf shirts; or

3.7.16. one-pieces such as bodysuits.

The following adult accessories:

3.8.1. shawls and scarves;

3.8.2. beanies;

3.8.3. gloves;

3.8.4. socks

3.8.5. belts;

3.8.6. headwear,

3.8.7. gym and exercise apparel accessories, and

3.8.8. hair accessories.

3.9 The following bedding categories

3.9.1 baby bedding and blankets;

3.9.2 duvets;

3.9.3 duvet inners;

3.9.4 blankets;

3.9.5 comforters;

3.9.6 quilts;

3.9.7 mattress protectors;

3.9.8 pillows;

3.9.9 throws;

3.9.10 sheets and pillow cases, and

3.9.11 electric blankets.

Commencement and duration

These Directions come into effect on the date of publication in the Government Gazette, and shall remain in force for the duration of Alert Level 4.

This gazette is also available free online at

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Author: ANA Newswire