Helping a township-based small business operate by interpreting COVID 19 Regulations - News | Red Tape Reduction

Helping a township-based small business operate by interpreting COVID 19 Regulations

26 January 2022
Red Tape Reduction Unit

South Africa’s township economy (formal and informal) is comprised of a diverse mix of businesses and is growing at a pace unequalled by the formal sector. The informal sector is an important source of income for many poor South Africans and accounts for a substantial amount of employment in the province.

A model developed by the Western Cape Government to measure the economic impact of the pandemic revealed that the informal sector was among the hardest hit sectors in the Western Cape. While it is difficult to quantify the exact gross value added by the informal sector, there is consensus that supporting informal businesses and township economies is key to recovery from the pandemic.

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In May 2020, the Department of the Premier received an enquiry from the Langa Bicycle Hub related to the acquiring of a permit for a bicycle operated food delivery under the COVID-19 lockdown regulations. Many businesses in Langa and Khayelitsha were running bicycle-operated food deliveries, but were not formally registered as businesses. Supporting these informal businesses would be a great opportunity to support the local economy.

The matter was efficiently dealt with after being assigned to Red Tape Reduction official, Ms Cindy Rose, who used her legal background to provide the client with a comprehensive interpretation of the COVID-19 regulations.

Interpreting the COVID 19 Regulations for the food industry

Under COVID regulations, food delivery was permitted with minimized personal contact during delivery. Informal traders, such as the Langa Bicycle Hub were permitted to sell hot cooked food, only for home delivery. Lastly, restaurant food delivery services could operate between 09H00 – 19H00 with no sit-downs or pick-ups allowed.

The regulations were silent on the mode of transport used for food delivery. Ms Cindy Rose advised that permits could be obtained for informal bicycle food delivery schemes. Cindy further advised that the owner issue essential services permits to the staff and that regulation be attached to permits with the relevant sections highlighted. Langa Bicycle Hub staff could then carry the permits, regulations as well as their Identity Documents at all times. The business owner  was informed to familiarize themselves with the COVID-19 health and safety protocols relating to food delivery.

Cindy Rose’s immediate response and action to the enquiry of the citizen displays commitment to Ease of Doing Business values specifically caring and responsiveness.

The Red Tape Reduction unit aims to continue to reduce regulatory barriers and improve communication challenges so that an enabling environment is created for all business to prosper within the Western Cape as part of the Ease of Doing Business.