Government has updated the list of essential services which are allowed to continue working during South Africa’s lockdown to include a number of financial sector jobs.
While South Africans are permitted to work from home during the lockdown period, essential services personnel will be exempted from the stay-home provisions as they are vital for continued functioning of key businesses during the lockdown.
The original list of essential workers featured 28 jobs which cover a range of sectors including medical care, supply chains, retail workers and journalists.
In the country’s original lockdown regulations published on 25 March, the legislation said that essential services included ‘(those) necessary to maintain the functioning of the banking and payments environment, including the JSE and similar exchanges, as well as insurance services’.
This has since been explicitly expanded to include services which are seen as necessary to maintaining the functioning of a financial system as defined in section 1(1) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act.
These new essential services include:
- The banking environment (including the operations of mutual banks, cooperative banks, co-operative financial institutions and the Postbank);
- The payments environment;
- The financial markets (including market infrastructures licensed under the Financial Markets Act;
- The insurance environment;
- The savings and investment environment;
- Pension fund administration;
- Outsourced administration;
- Medical schemes administration.
The regulations also give power to the minister of finance, Tito Mboweni, to expand the list of financial services at his own discretion.
The one exception to this is debt collection services which the amended regulations explicitly exclude from operating during the lockdown period.
You can read the full regulations below: