In order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa, the government has issued a strict set of regulations regarding what services can continue operating during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

In addition, all workers will be required to carry a permit showing that they are performing an essential service, and have it on them when travelling.

The following sectors are considered essential during this period:


1. Electricity – stable power supply with no loadshedding

Public and private organisations, their staff and service providers essential to the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity will need to continue to operate. This includes municipalities, and the suppliers of logistics, feedstock and maintenance will be required to continue to operate and provide security of electricity supply.

2. Water supply, sewerage and sanitation

Public and private organisations, their staff and service providers essential to the security of supply of bulk and potable water and sanitation must continue to operate and provide vital water and sanitation services. This includes municipalities and those involved in the supply of materials, chemicals and related equipment.

3. ICT – data centres, fibre optic infrastructure, towers and antennae

We have extensively engaged with the ICT sector and are satisfied that connectivity will remain stable during this period. In this time industry collaboration will be critical to ensure that society remains connected and functional. The ICT sector including data centres, fibre optic providers, towers and antennae will need to operate at high capacity.

The industry will collaborate and use multiple data sets to provide predictive insights into spread and impact dynamics of the crisis which will enable government and society’s ability to be proactive in measures that reduce the curve and social and economic impact of the spread. ​Social platforms will allow our people to remain socially included and these platforms remain critical to the dissemination of accurate information. However, our citizens are reminded that cyber-security is of the utmost importance and to be vigilant to cyber-criminals who will, during this time, try to exploit the public.

The lockdown regulations have also been amended to explicitly allow for the following jobs to be carried out:

  • 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.


1. Food & essential products

Related manufacturing and processing, and distribution in order to ensure that people remain well-nourished and apply high personal hygiene to combat the spread of Covid-19, the following operations will continue:

  • Manufacturing of health-related products, supplies, devices, equipment, and medicines, including complementary health products; food and essential products, as well as essential inputs thereto.
  • Agricultural and food supply related operations, including farming, veterinary and phyto-sanitary provider services, pest control services, and chemical and fertilizer providers.
  • Fishing operations
  • Forestry and sawmills will remain in production for disposable health and hygiene products, including toilet paper; as well as for the production of packaging for essential health and food supply chains.
  • Food, beverages and essential products manufacturing and processing facilities
  • Warehousing, transport and logistics for food & essential products, and health-related goods
  • The Ports, road and rail networks will remain open in order to facilitate the import and export of essential products.
  • Food outlets – retail, wholesale, spaza shops and malls for food and essential products.
  • Essential products include: any food product and non-alcoholic beverage, toilet paper, cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants, personal hygiene products, bedding, animal food, basic goods such as airtime and electricity, fuel – including coal and gas – and essential supplies for those taking care of the sick and in order for people to remain healthy.

2. Enabling Services

To assist in the Covid-19 response, the following services are required to continue operations:

  • All healthcare-related services be they public or private.
  • Call centres providing life and health; energy, food and water supply, social, transactional, communications, law and order and international critical business continuity services.
  • Professional and artisan services, to the extent that they are providing support in the Covid-19 response, essential and critical business continuity services.
  • Cleaning, laundry and hospitality services supporting the Covid-19 response and essential and critical business continuity services.
  • Hotels, airlines, stadiums, car rental services, to the extent that they are supporting essential or critical business continuity services and repurposing for the Covid-19 response.
  • Financial and insurance services and health funders required to finance and support essential and critical business continuity services in the Covid-19 response, and provide short term bridging finance to people and businesses during this period.
  • Anti-poaching and wildlife conservation services.
  • Communication and media services on screen, TV, radio, print, broadcast and online.
  • Safety and security services protecting people and property, including private security
  • Funeral services, including mortuaries
  • Essential municipal services
  • Birth and death certificates, and replacement of identity documents

3. Work from Home

The government encourages people to continue to remain productive and work from home. However, this must the basis that it does not require contact with people not residing in the home, and it does not interfere in any manner with the Covid-19 response.