Here are all 28 jobs which are considered ‘essential services’ during South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown

 ·25 Mar 2020

The Department of Cooperative and Government Affairs has published new regulations which outline the ‘essential services’ which will be allowed to continue working during South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open during the 21-day ‘lockdown’, president Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his national address on Monday (23 March).

These personnel will be exempted from the stay-home provisions as they are vital for continued functioning of these companies during the lockdown, he said.

The regulations make provisions for the following 28 jobs:

  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 sales of the goods (related to food, cleaning and hygiene products, medical products, fuel and basic goods such as airtime and electricity).
  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 the Head of National or Provincial Departments
  8. Birth and death certificates and replacement ID 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 vet services;
  13. Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunications 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 refusal 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, 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 Protections of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities, and the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector.
  28. Transport and logistics in respect of essential goods as set out in A above to neighbouring countries.


In an interview with 702, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said that all of these workers – including those who use private transport – will have to carry a permit showing that they are classified as ‘essential’ and are allowed to be on the roads.

All employers will be expected to generate permits for special workers,” he said.

“If for example, you are working in a supermarket, Pick n Pay will have to produce a permit for each worker that shows you are permitted to work on this day in terms of the regulation and the lockdown.

That will also happen (for other essential services) such as the media. As ministers, we have been given a guide and asked to define what is essential work and we have done that for our different departments.”

Those who need a permit to work as an essential service will need to fill out Annexure C of the regulations.

You can read South Africa’s full lockdown regulations below:

Final Lockdown Regulations by BusinessTech on Scribd

Read: You cannot buy alcohol or walk your dog during coronavirus lockdown as South Africa introduces strict new measures

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