During the nationwide lockdown, people have been informed that they may not leave their places of isolation unless under specific instances (to get necessary groceries, to obtain medical help or medicine) and if they are an essential service.

Essential Services have been broadly arrange into 28 categories in Annexure B of Regulation 43148 (“Regulation“), and while you (or your business) may fall under more than one of those listed, you must fall under at least one of the categories in order to be classified as an essential service.

The Categories of Essential Services are as follows:

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, above;
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 Protector and Deputy Public Protector; and
28. Transport and logistics in respect of essential goods as set out in A above to neighbouring countries.
Once it has been established that you fall under one of the categories of an essential service, then you must apply online at to obtain a certificate confirming that you are an essential service. You will then be able to continue trading. This online process is immediate, and you will be issued with a certificate once you have completed the application. The application will be a simple declaration, requiring minimal registration details, including things such as the type of business/trade, trading name, whether it meets the requirements contained in the essential services list.

We advise that once you have obtained this certificate, you furnish a copy of such to the employee performing the essential service. Such person performing an essential service will also need a completed permit form (Annexure C, Form 1 of the Regulation) (which you can also download from our Website), signed by the head of the business/organization or whomever the head of the organization has delegated to sign such permit. We further advise that the delegation of this authority must be done in writing. The person performing the essential service is also required to carry a valid form of identification.


Fiona Worwood and Jordan Smith






Essential Goods referred to as “A” above

Download Permit Form Here
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