Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel has published a new directive relaxing the rules around e-commerce in South Africa.
The directive, published on Thursday (14 May), states that ‘all goods may be transacted through e-commerce platforms, except for goods prohibited for sale in terms of regulation 26 and 27 of the (Cogta) regulations’.
These specified regulations relate to the sale of alcohol and tobacco products, which are still prohibited in the country.
In addition, the government gazette sets out the following rules for online retailers:
- All regulations and directions in respect of hygienic workplace conditions and the potential exposure of employees to Covid-19 must be adhered to;
- Employees may not share face masks, equipment, stationery, utensils or similar items, while trained health and safety officers must take each employee’s temperatures using appropriate equipment or instruments at the start of a shift and every four hours after the shift commences;
- To limit the social and economic hardship caused by the pandemic on local industries and enable consumer choice to support local producers, retailers must give prominence to those goods which are manufactured in the republic of South Africa;
- Retailers must provide for as many payment options as possible for consumers, that are based on reducing risks of transmission, and enabling poorer consumers to access delivery services;
- When packaging goods, retailers must provide written guidelines for customers on how to safely disinfect their goods before use;
- Retailers must put in place collection protocols to ensure that adequate social distancing is maintained by courier or delivery service personnel when collecting goods from a warehouse or depot;
- All goods must be sanitised, in line with the guidelines published by the National Department of Health, before leaving the warehouse or depot;
The directive also states that customers must wear a mask when receiving the delivery and must stand at least 1.5 metres away from the courier when accepting delivery.
You can read the full directive below: