Requirements for family farmers who travel during Level 4-lockdown

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, announced on 29 April 2020 the regulations applicable to Level 4 restrictions that took effect on 1 May 2020 to help combat COVID-19.

Section 16 of the amended Regulations (GG No. 43258) states:

  1. Every person is confined to his or her place of residence.
  2. A person may only leave their place of residence to –
    a) Perform an essential or permitted service, as allowed in Alert Level 4;
    b) Go to work where a permit which corresponds with Form 2 Annexure A has been issued;
    c) Buy permitted goods;
    d) Obtain services that are allowed to operate as set out in Table 1 to the Regulations …

Section 28(4) also requires that persons performing essential or permitted services must be duly designated in writing by the head of an institution, or a person designated by him or her, on a form that corresponds with Form 2 in Annexure A.

The Level 4-permitted retail and service operations include all agriculture, hunting, forestry, fishing and related services, including the export of agricultural products.

Although these agricultural services are allowed, a permit is still required in order to travel and to perform an essential service. The travel permit, as mentioned in Section 16(2)(b) and 28(4), is a form that corresponds with Form 2 Annexure A and must therefore contain the same minimum information as mentioned in Form 2 Annexure A. It must be signed by the head of an institution, who is the chief executive officer or the equivalent of a chief executive officer of a private institution.

There has been much frustration at some roadblocks that wrongly require farmers to provide a CIPC certificate in order to continue their travels.

Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition announced on 16 April 2020 that enterprises that are registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to perform essential services during the lockdown period must have a certificate obtained from the CIPC BizPortal to continue with these services.

It seems that the new regulations still require enterprises that perform essential services to register for a CIPC certificate. Section 2(3) of the amended regulations state – despite the repeal of the previous regulations – that all directions issued in terms of the original regulations continue to apply, unless these are amended or withdrawn by the cabinet member responsible for these directions.

This requirement however does not apply to farmers, as the Minister stated in the same announcement that:

Other essential service providers, like healthcare professionals registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, sole proprietors who provide essential goods and services (like small business owners and spaza shops), and small-scale farmers will not register through the Bizportal. These businesses will not have a CIPC certificate, but must still comply with the provisions of the lockdown regulations.

Farmers can apply for a permit online at https://bit.ly/SaaiTravelpermit or contact Saai at 066 071 6094 with any enquiries.