South Africa’s gazettes e-commerce regulations during lockdown

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E-commerce

South Africa Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) on Thursday released a gazette, allowing the sale of all goods online except alcohol and cigarettes.

The department gave directions on the sale of products through e-commerce platforms and delivery-systems that are currently not available at retail outlets.

The regulations outline the need for hygienic workplace conditions, social distancing, wearing of masks, regular monitoring of workers’ health and the need for sanitization, among other health protocols.

“We are in the middle of a global pandemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives across the world,” said Ebrahim Patel, Minister of the DTIC, “Protecting the lives of workers and consumers is critical as we open up the economy.”

He called on retailers to provide various payment options for consumers particularly for low income earners, so that many could take advantage of online platforms.

He said South African government “strongly believe in the value of e-commerce as a critical enabler to opening the economy through contactless transactions. This can reduce the movement of consumers, and the density of shoppers in retail spaces.”

“Further it can accelerate innovation, support local manufacturing and increase access by the informal market and poorer South Africans,” he said.

“E-commerce has great potential as a safe retail platform during the pandemic. We need to work together with the sector to make digital platforms an avenue which can be used by a greater number of local manufacturers, retailers and consumers to transact,” he said. Enditem

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