Wednesday | 08 April | 2020
By Reon Janse van Rensburg
The original list of essential services permitted to operate during the national lockdown period consisted of 28 jobs. These jobs cover various sectors including medical personnel, food supply chain staff and other essential professions.
The government, however, has decided to update the list of essential services that are allowed to continue working during the national lockdown to include a number of jobs in the financial sector.
Although South Africans are permitted to work from home during the lockdown period, essential services personnel are exempted from the provision that they may only work from home as it is vital that these key businesses continue to provide services during the national lockdown period.
When the original lockdown regulations were published on 25 March, it was stipulated that banking and payment services, including the JSE and insurance services, should continue to function normally.
The regulations have since been expanded to include other financial services which are also seen as essential to maintain the normal functioning of the financial system as defined in section 1(1) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act.
The regulations gazetted on 2 April 2020 also give Finance Minister Tito Mboweni powers to expand the list of financial services.
The services now added to the list include the following:
- The payments environment
- Financial markets (including market infrastructure licenced under the Financial Markets Act)
- The banking environment (including the operations of mutual banks, co-operative banks, co-operative financial institutions and the Postbank)
- The insurance environment
- The savings and investment environment
- Outsourced administration
- Administration of medical schemes
- Pension fund administration
There is actually one exception, namely debt collection services, which are explicitly prohibited from continuing with their normal operations during the lockdown period.
* All information was correct at the time of publication.