Some in the alcohol industry are expecting a relaxation around the sale of alcohol in the days ahead too, though…

“Subject to all applicable laws, all goods may be transacted through e-Commerce platforms, except for goods prohibited for sale in terms of regulation 26 and 27 of the Regulations,” reads the notice signed by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel.

New regulations specify that buyers and sellers will have to meet sanitation and preventive healthcare requirements to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

The government had been facing heavy criticism for shutting down e-commerce, allowing only essential goods, with Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel having argued that e-commerce would have been unfair towards other businesses not trading online, such as spaza shops.

Delivery through courier

Spaza shops will now, however, be allowed to make deliveries through couriers, with an entry reading that “courier or delivery service” means a company, an employee of that company or a person who delivers goods from one place or person to another place or person, and may include the delivery divisions of retailers and delivery services set up by spaza shops and informal traders.

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“e-Commerce can be a critical enabler to opening the economy through contactless transactions, which can reduce the movement of consumers, and the density of shoppers in retail spaces. Further it can accelerate innovation, support local manufacturing and increase access by the informal market and poorer South Africans,” according to the government notice.

Online stores will be expected to promote local goods by giving “prominence to those goods which are manufactured in the Republic of South Africa”.

Retailers will have to provide written guidelines to their customers “on how to safely disinfect their goods before use”.

People will also need to wear masks when receiving goods from couriers.


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Citizen reporter – Citizen

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