Pretoria News - - BUSINES REPORT - | Philippa Larkin

BUSINESSES have more time to reg­is­ter on the Biz­por­tal web­site, although the Na­tional Em­ploy­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa (Neasa) dis­putes the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try’s (dti’s) claim that the site is fully func­tional. Businesses that pro­vide es­sen­tial ser­vices dur­ing the lock­down are re­quired to seek ap­proval from the Depart­ment of Trade, In­dus­try and Com­pe­ti­tion. The dti said yes­ter­day that, as of 2pm yes­ter­day, more than 10 000 com­pa­nies had reg­is­tered as providers of es­sen­tial goods and ser­vices. The dti said con­tin­ues to state that due to the high vol­umes of traf­fic on the site, not all es­sen­tial ser­vices would be able to reg­is­ter be­fore the lock­down is im­ple­mented, but that no com­pany would be prej­u­diced by any de­lay in the sys­tem. “The ser­vice will con­tinue to run to­mor­row and be­yond,” it said. How­ever, Ger­hard Papen­fus, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Neasa, said yes­ter­day that this site had been in­ac­ces­si­ble for most of the day. He said, “The depart­ment stated (very con­fus­ingly) that it is not a re­quire­ment to be reg­is­tered or to have a cer­tifi­cate be­fore the lock­down is im­ple­mented, but (the businesses) must con­tinue at­tempt­ing to reg­is­ter.” Any non-es­sen­tial ac­tiv­i­ties per­formed by any busi­ness con­sti­tuted a crim­i­nal of­fence ac­cord­ing to the an­nounce­ment by the Min­is­ter of Trade, In­dus­try and Com­pe­ti­tion, Ebrahim Pa­tel, in terms of the reg­u­la­tions pub­lished late on Wed­nes­day by the Min­is­ter of Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Such businesses are re­quired to ap­ply to the Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion (CIPC) via the Biz­por­tal web­site at­por­ and ob­tain a cer­tifi­cate from the com­mis­sion that al­lows them to con­tinue trad­ing. Pa­tel has in­di­cated that the Biz­por­tal web­site would con­tain a menu icon listed as “Es­sen­tial Ser­vice Businesses” through which an ap­pli­ca­tion can be made to the CIPC. In terms of the reg­u­la­tions, an em­ployee per­form­ing an es­sen­tial ser­vice or func­tion must carry a let­ter, com­ply­ing with the re­quire­ments of the reg­u­la­tion, and con­firm­ing that he or she is re­quired to re­port for duty. Pa­tel had in­di­cated in a pre­vi­ous me­dia state­ment that “back­of­fice staff” in non-es­sen­tial ser­vices, such as staff re­spon­si­ble for pay­roll, would be al­lowed to travel to work if re­quired.

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