The website businesses must use to register as essential services is back online, after experiencing intermittent downtime on Thursday, a spokesperson told Fin24 on Friday morning.

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel on Wednesday announced that businesses may apply to be recognised as essential services using the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s BizPortal website from Thursday.

The lockdown kicked in on Thursday at midnight and is, at present, expected to continue until 16 April. Any business not deemed an essential service is prohibited from trading during the 21-day lockdown.

During this period the CIPC will also limit company registrations to essential service applications.

CIPC’s Tando Luyaba told Fin24 on Friday that as functionality was added to the site it experienced intermittent downtime on Thursday. But he said the issues had been resolved.

Some 35 000 applications had already been received, 25 000 of which came through on Thursday, with around 20 000 certificates already having been issued.

About 10 000 further applications were received on Friday, he said.

“We have a backlog of about 15 000, which we expect to clear soon,” he told Fin24.

According to regulations gazetted by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, essential goods and services include grocery stores, pharmacies, spaza shops, and funeral services, among others.

A list of essential services can be found on the CIPC’s website here


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