New regulations specify that buyers and sellers will have to meet sanitation and preventive healthcare requirements to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.
The government had been facing heavy criticism for shutting down e-commerce, allowing only essential goods, with Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel having argued that e-commerce would have been unfair towards other businesses not trading online, such as spaza shops.
Spaza shops will now, however, be allowed to make deliveries through couriers, with an entry reading that “courier or delivery service” means a company, an employee of that company or a person who delivers goods from one place or person to another place or person, and may include the delivery divisions of retailers and delivery services set up by spaza shops and informal traders.
Online stores will be expected to promote local goods by giving “prominence to those goods which are manufactured in the Republic of South Africa”.
Retailers will have to provide written guidelines to their customers “on how to safely disinfect their goods before use”.
People will also need to wear masks when receiving goods from couriers.