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You will now need this new certificate to stay open as an essential service during South Africa’s lockdown

  • Staff Writer: Staff Writer

Companies, which are registered through the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s (CIPC) BizPortal to perform essential services during the lockdown period, will be required to have a new certificate for the extended period, the Department of Trade and Industry has announced.

The certificate will be sent via email using the details provided at the time of registration, and will also be available for download from Friday (17 April). The full list of registered companies will have received their certificates by the weekend, the DTI said.


“The new certificate will clearly state that it is for the extended lockdown period, beginning 17 April 2020, and South African Police Service officials will be told which certificates to look for.

“Certificates issued before today will no longer be valid and must be disposed of. To provide time for businesses to adjust to the new requirements, the new certificates will be available to be displayed from start of business on Monday (20 April 2020).”

The department said that possession of the CIPC certificate is still subject to the company fully complying with the applicable lockdown regulations and is a record of the company’s details, and does not in itself constitute the right to continue operating during the period.

Only businesses which provide essential services in terms of the regulations may continue their operations during the Covid-19 lockdown, it said.

Only for registered companies

The certificate is a reference to the legal registration of the company in terms of the Companies Act and a record of registration to the CIPC.

This means that the registration portal is only for companies registered in terms of the Companies Act, the DTI said.

“Other essential service providers, like healthcare professionals registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, sole proprietors who provide essential goods and services (like small business owners and spaza shops), and small-scale farmers will not register through the Bizportal.

“These businesses will not have a CIPC certificate, but must still comply with the provisions of the lockdown regulations,” it said.

Where the CIPC finds that certificates have been issued to companies which do not meet the definitions of an essential service, such certificate will be revoked, and the company will be referred to the South African Police Services, the DTI said.

“False declaration by the company is a criminal offence and will result in prosecution, in terms of lockdown regulations.”