CIPC to grant essential service business operation approval

Thursday, March 26, 2020

All businesses that will be allowed to provide essential services during the 21-day COVID-19 lockdown will be required to seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC).

This is in terms of the National State of Disaster gazetted regulations which were published on Wednesday by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

In a statement, DTIC Minister Ebrahim Patel said such businesses are required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) Bizportal website at

Here they will obtain a certificate from the Commission that allows them to continue trading. The Bizportal website will contain a menu icon listed as “Essential Service Businesses” through which an application can be made to the CIPC.

“The application will be a simple declaration requiring minimal registration details, type of business/trade involved in, what trading name if any is used and whether it meets the requirements contained in the essential services list, the contact details of the person applying as well as the number of employees that will be working during the lockdown period,” reads the statement.

The CIPC registry will then pre-populate the remaining company information and email a certificate stating that the business is allowed to remain trading.

The certificate can then be used as evidence to authorities requiring same that indeed the business has been given government permission to trade and that its employees are able to have unrestricted movement only in the course of that trade.

The department emphasised that false applications to the CIPC will be taken as a fraudulent application and will render the applicant liable to criminal prosecution and sanction.

This service will be available from 26 March 2020 at the start of business trading hours. –