By Peter Cottrell CA(SA)
The following provides a high level guidance on the regulations and guidelines applicable to the Level 4 Lockdown Status.
Requirements for business that will operate under Level 4
Warrick de Wet (attorney) has kindly provided guidance on the application of these regulations:
Businesses entitled to operate in Level 4 will be the businesses which were entitled to operate during the lockdown (essential businesses) and the additional businesses permitted in terms of Table 1 to the Regulations (permitted businesses).
When looking at what the requirements for a permitted business I see that:
- they must comply with section 16(6) by:
- Developing a plan for the phased return of their employees to the workplace, prior the reopening of the workplace. Annexure E to the regulations sets out requirements for the plan, which must be retained for inspection. The plan must at least contain the following information: The name of the employees permitted to work, the plans for their phased-in return, health protocols in place and details of the Covid-19 compliance officer.
- Designating a Covid-19 compliance officer who will oversee the implementation of the Covid-19 plan and adherence to the hygiene and health protocols relating to Covid-19 at the workplace;
- Phase in the return of their employees to work and manage the return of employees from other provinces, metropolitan and district areas;
- Develop measures to ensure that the workplace meets the standards of health protocols, adequate space for employees and social distancing measures for the public and service providers.
- the head of the business must in terms of section 28(4) authorise the employees to work by issuing a permit to them. This is similar to the lockdown permit but it is a different form. It features in Annexure A, as Form 2;
- they must apply the provisions of Table 1, which sets out further guidance for work and sets out permissions and prohibitions for activities and services;
- they must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces published on 28 April 2020.
In terms of the earlier regulations CIPC bizportal permits were required during the first phase of lockdown and had to be renewed for the second phase of lockdown. All earlier regulations have been repealed and replaced with the regulations for Level 4, which were published on 29 April 2020. I see nothing relating to a further CIPC bizportal certificate and due to the fact that the previous regulations under which the CIPC bizportal certificates were required have been repealed, we now have an incongruous situation where essential businesses can operate under the Level 4 restrictions without a CIPC bizportal certificate.
One must expect further regulations or sector specific regulations to follow, but for now no further certification of a permitted business is required. [Note – in practice certificates should be downloaded – refer NEWSFLASH – Lockdown Level 4 Essential Services –CIPC Bizportal Certificates]
Links to regulations and resources
- The SA Coronavirus information site contains information on permitted activities for Level 4 – https://sacoronavirus.co.za/covid-19-risk-adjusted-strategy/
- Regulations issued in Terms of the Disaster Management Act 29 April 2020 (“Level 4 Regulations”): https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202004/43258rg11098go
- Direction on Health and Safety in the Workplace “Health and Safety Regulations”)
Permit required for Level 4
The format for the required permit for employees under level 4 is set out in on Page 29 of the Level 4 Regulations:
The workplace plan must at least contain the following information: The name of the employees permitted to work, the plans for their phased-in return, health protocols in place and details of the Covid-19 compliance officer.
Annexure E of the Level 4 Regulations state that for small businesses, the plan can be basic, reflecting the size of the business. The Health and Safety Regulations set out further requirements for small businesses with less than 10 employees:
- arrange the workplace to ensure that employees are at least one and a half metres apart or, if not practicable, place physical barriers between them to prevent the possible transmission of the virus;
- ensure that employees that present with the symptoms set out in clause 21 are not permitted to work;
- immediately contact the COVID-19 hotline: 0800 02 9999 for instruction and direct the employee to act in accordance with those instructions;
- provide cloth masks or require an employee to wear some form of cloth covering over their mouth and nose while at work;
- provide each employee with hand sanitizers, soap and clean water to wash their hands and disinfectants to sanitize their workstations;
- ensure that each employee while at work washes with soap and sanitizes their hands
- ensure that their workstations are disinfected regularly;
- take any other measures indicated by a risk assessment.
For other small, medium and larger businesses, the requirements set out in the Level 4 Regulations and the Health and Safety Regulations are detailed and employers should study these with care when developing their plans.
The regulations that will apply to businesses operating under level 4 are detailed and require careful attention. There are severe penalties for non-compliance. We therefore recommend that a cautious approach is adopted in the reopening of businesses and that advice is obtained if there is doubt. Warrick de Wet has already done extensive work on the Level 4 Regulations together with the requirements for workplace plans and is willing to assist should clients require more detailed guidance.
Peter Cottrell CA(SA)
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