You can do your shopping online again – but not for alcohol or cigarettes

The government has unshackled e-commerce, allowing the sale of all goods online — barring alcohol and cigarettes — from Thursday.

This as the country, on level 4 of the coronavirus lockdown, anticipates some areas being reduced to level 3 at the end of May

In a gazette published on Thursday, the department of trade, industry and competition said: “Subject to all applicable laws, all goods may be transacted through e-Commerce platforms, except for goods prohibited [alcohol and cigarettes] …”

Strict guidelines have been published for all companies who wish to resume their online trade. This includes them ensuring the safety of their employees by adhering to the Covid-19 occupational health and safety measures.

The gazette said all workers who would be resuming work at the different warehouses of the online retailers should not share face masks, equipment, stationery or utensils and must have their temperatures checked every four hours while on duty.

“Any employee whose temperature is 37.5 degrees or above should immediately be moved to an isolated observation room for a second measurement. If the second test measurement also exceeds 37.5 degrees, the employee must be returned home for self-quarantine, provided with a surgical mask and not be permitted to enter or stay on the premises.

In a bid to boost the country’s economy, which has taken a severe knock due to the Covid-19 outbreak, online retailers were encouraged to promote and sell goods manufactured in SA.

When it comes to payment for goods, retailers were urged to give customers options of how to pay for their goods, ensuring they were minimising, if not totally, excluding contact.

“When packaging goods, retailers must provide written guidelines for customers on how to safely disinfect their goods before use,” the government gazette read.

“Retailers must put in place collection protocols to ensure that adequate social distancing is maintained by courier or delivery service personnel when collecting goods from a warehouse or depot. All goods must be sanitised, in line with the guidelines published by the national department of health, before leaving the warehouse or depot,” it continued.

Couriers were also required to have their own masks and sanitisers and still practise social distancing when delivering the parcels. Customers were advised to also wear their cloth masks and be extra cautious when receiving their goods.

“When packaging goods, retailers must provide written guidelines for customers on how to safely disinfect their goods before use,” the government gazette read.

Customers collecting parcels must wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item covering  the nose and mouth.

They will also have to maintain at least one-and-a-half metres distance from couriers and disinfect their goods.

By Naledi Shange


  1. There is no hope for this government as the ANC is busy drowning this country in a far greater recession in the next few months. But they dont worry they are busy lining their pockets while the people suffer. Spending government money and not allowing the revenue service to recouperate the losses. But the bright shining wise ANC leaders are prohibiting the government from receiving revenue. I must ask Ramaphosa to call Donald Trump and ask what he should do in this situation. Thats what happens when your subordinate over rules you and monopolise the market for her son’s own gain.

  2. I strongly disagree with both the tobacco and alcohol ban, is not one’s human right and free will to make that decision, who gives anyone the right to take it away. I know the implications that they both have as both cigarette’s and alcohol have clear signs on them stating “Smoking is a hazard to your health” and ” Drink responsibly and do not drive under the influence..” I can read and i know what I’m doing and chose to do have made that decision for over 30 years. What is offered out there is more dangerous to our health and it hasn’t stopped us from smoking 9r drinking…the government make us feel like criminals and more than likely some will resort to crime to get what is thier Human right to have, the one thing God gave us is Free Will who gives you the Right to take that away we Are Not Your “Children or Employed By You” so Stop using us as your puppets because that’s how we feel, this not only goes for the Smoking and drinking but many other issues that make no sense !!! People can only take so much and we are at our wits end…iend…is a War going to break out before the people are heard? Without the people of this Country this Country would is nothing.

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