COVID-19: A Brief Update on Essential Services

Please find below an update from Warrick de Wet on the current status of the registration requirements with regard to essential goods and services.  This provides much needed answers to what was an extremely stressful situation yesterday, particularly with regard to certain issues that remain unresolved. 

Warrick has also given extremely useful legal guidance on how to address the situation in the interim.  Profound thanks to Warrick for getting this through so quickly. Please feel free to contact Warrick if you have further questions.  He is already working on one question for me, and no doubt there will be more in the days and weeks that follow, especially as new areas emerge as possibly being “essential”.

On a practical note, I found that the Bizportal site was working extremely well at about 11.00pm last night, so if you can adjust your sleep patterns a bit you may just have a less frustrating experience  And please be assured, Bizportal is in no way related to our “Bizsupport” domain! 

Enjoy Lockdown Day #1 and, if you are not engaged in an essential production or services please remember that the best thing you can do is to stay at home.

Kind regards




27 March 2020

Dear Peter

Another media statement has been released by the DTI on 26 March 2020 and can be accessed at

The following was mentioned in respect of the bizportal system:

“The system is currently running with full functionality. We ask that companies be patient through the registration process, as there are large volumes presently being experienced. No companies will be prejudiced by any delay in the system. The service will continue to run tomorrow and beyond and it is not a requirement that companies complete registration before the lockdown begins.

There was also a guideline that was published which can be accessed at . 

The heading of paragraph 3 of this guideline is “NON-COMPULSORY CERTIFICATE OF ENTERPRISES THROUGH THE BIZPORTAL”. This is contradictory to what the initial media statement says. I suggest that our clients should continue with their attempts to obtain the approval certificate through the Bizportal. 

However, if they remain unsuccessful then it would, in our view, suffice that their employees carry with them the permit as per the Annexure C of the Regulations and their identity documents.

We, ourselves were not able to register our firm on bizportal for the purposes of an urgent High Court application we are running in Pietermaritzburg today, so our team has traveled to court armed with a permit in  terms of Annexure C of the Regulations only. There has been no police or military presence on the freeway to Pietermaritzburg and so the going is good. So far, however, the system has not been tested at a roadblock.

I will try to get hold of someone through the contact numbers provided to get clarity on the matter.

Yours sincerely

Warrick de Wet



Due to the President’s announcement on Monday night that our country is on lockdown for 21 days from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020, we have implemented the necessary measures in order to work remotely. Our email addresses will remain the same. Please see: Warrick / Riona / Catherine / Amber: | Conor: | Accounts Department (Jane Banks): Our office landline number (031 201 8820) will remain operative. Please see our staff’s cellphone numbers so that you can reach any of us directly:

Warrick de Wet: 083 444 0920

Riona Pillay: 082 945 1262

Conor Redman: 083 403 7597

Catherine Schmuhl: 071 679 2931

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