Skip to main content

Biltong is safe from lockdown (for now) even though specialist shops ‘are breaking the law’

| Supplier news

Biltong is not essential, and specialised stores selling it during South Africa's Covid-19 lockdown are breaking the law, a government regulator has claimed without evidence.

But other retailers continue to sell biltong, and manufacturers say they are not aware of any change in the status of biltong – even those manufacturers with "biltong in the name".

Last week retailers stopped selling hot food, such as roast chicken, after Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel said it had always been clear that prepared food is not an essential item, and so may not be sold.

Under lockdown rules those retailers who stay open because they sell essentials may only sell essentials, and no other items.

It is still not clear on what basis Patel banned hot food. According to lockdown regulations "any food product, including non-alcoholic beverages" is essential, in a rule that has never changed.

Retailers continue to sell sweetened drinks, chocolate, baked deserts, and other comestibles arguably not necessary to sustain human life.

On Thursday it seemed that biltong would join roast chicken as banned without clear reason, when the unit of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) that issues essential-services permits first said specialised biltong sellers are acting illegally, then threatened to revoke all permits for businesses with the word "biltong" in their name.

As of Monday morning at least the majority of specialised biltong stores in major cities were indeed closed, a survey by Business Insider South Africa found, but retailers were continuing to sell pre-packaged biltong and offer it from deli counters.

Butchers too were making and selling biltong as per usual.

Major manufacturers of biltong said they were open and active, and some had even made special provisions to sell directly to the public during the period of lockdown, to avoid logistics bottlenecks and prevent shortages on shelves that could lead to a perception of food running low.

That included one manufacturer that has "biltong" in its name, which said it had received an amended certificate that will allow it to continue trading through the extended lockdown.


Related Articles

Festive family fashion alert - Pick n Pay unvei...

Forget fugly clichéd holiday-themed jerseys: matching family pyjamas is the latest craze for the holidays and is flying off the shelves, says Pick n Pay Clothing.

Liberty Accelerates Unclaimed Benefits Pay Outs 

As part of its ongoing Unclaimed Benefits Funds tracing efforts, this year, Liberty has identified in excess of 13 000 people and paid over R105 million to members and beneficiaries who had a legitimate claim.

Shoprite and Checkers support small suppliers t...

Shoprite and Checkers are helping small suppliers grow their volumes this Black Friday as customers flock to its stores looking for value on everyday essentials and groceries between Thursday, 23 November and Sunday, 26 November 2023. 

Supermarket chain set to appeal judgment in ‘si...

By: Chevon Booysen - IOL Retail giant Pick n Pay has indicated its intention to appeal a Western Cape High Court judgment to damage all print works, all printed materials, product packaging, and the like bearing the infringing get-ups similar to ...

Woolies pulls Israeli couscous after 'credible'...

By: Ahmed Areff – Fin24 Woolworths has pulled Israeli-imported pearl couscous from its shelves, but has emphasised that the move was preemptive due to threats it received and not because it supported a boycott of the country’s products or was pro...