Mbabane: It’s back to normal hours for business.
This was an announcement made by Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo on Thursday afternoon, during a press briefing held at the Cabinet offices. “Businesses shall now revert to normal business operating hours except where businesses falling within COVID-19 hotspots and this shall also give people the opportunity to do their shopping once and stay at home thereafter,” Khumalo said.
Based on the previous guidelines, companies which were allowed to operate, were only given permits to operate on specific days and on specific hours. The new guidelines does not have any restrictions. Announcing the new guidelines Khumalo said: “The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade, as directed by the Prime Minister last Friday, presents revised guidelines for businesses that have been allowed to operate.”
Khumalo said it was very important to note that even though business operations have been relaxed, the measures of a National Emergency and partial lockdown are still in full force, adding that emaSwati are strongly advised to adhere to them at all times. “It is the responsibility of every liSwati to protect themselves and each other.” Khumalo said in order to minimize congestion, local authorities and security forces shall continue to advise and intensify control measures within Manzini and other hot spots. All previously operating businesses shall continue to observe the previous guidelines as announced.
Khumalo further said: “Government shall continue to engage businesses with the view of determining how they intend to strengthen COVID-19 prevention guidelines in their respective industries. These include the businesses that are still up for consideration, such as gyms, beauty spas, casinos and Lotto shops, entertainment venues as well as sports facilities, amongst others.”
The minister urged all businesses to ensure that they comply with the guidelines as stipulated, failing which, government shall close down those businesses and effect stiff penalties as regulated. The issuance of operating permits, therefore, shall be put on hold for now except where businesses require them for cross-border purposes.
According to the guidelines businesses that will revert to normal operating hours are as follows:
1. Clothing Shops
2. Furniture Shops
3. Stationery Shops
4. Car Wash businesses
5. Automobile Workshops, Spares Shops and Repair shops
6. Electronics, cellphone and repair businesses
7. Car Dealerships
8. Shoe Repairs
9. Laundromats and Dry Cleaners
10. All General Dealers
11. Cosmetics and Beauty Shops
12. Driving Schools
13. Clothing Vendors
14. Craft Vendors
15. Photography Studios
17. Hair Dressing Salons and barbershops
18. Agents and consultants
19. Decor Shops
20. Vehicle Testing Services