Mbabane: Government has revoked 11 permits in response to the revision of the gradual relaxation of business operations. Through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade government announced that the permits were withdrawn effective Friday, April 24. The businesses are as follow:
- Car dealerships
2. Craft Vendors
3. Photographic Studios
4. Agents and Consultants
5. Dry Cleaners
6. Driving Schools
7. Furniture Shops
8. General Dealers not selling food items
9. Car Wash business
10. Casinos and gambling shops
11. Clothing Shops – only baby clothes and baby essentials shall be on sale, under revised conditions
During a press conference at the Cabinet offices today, April 23 minister of commerce, industry and trade Mancoba Khumalo said four (4) businesses shall continue to operate but under strict conditions and they are as follows:
1. Retail outlets selling baby clothes and essentials – These shall now operate two days a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, between 10am and 3pm.
2. Stationery Shops – These shall operate daily between 9am and 3pm
3. Automobile Workshops, Spares Shops, Repairs & Breakdown Services – These shall also operate daily between 9am and 3pm. Breakdown Services will, however, operate on extended hours based on emergencies.
4. Construction – These shall operate daily but under very strict guidelines as guided by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.
Khumalo went on to list 13 essential Industries that will remain operational for now, as announced on March 27, also under the conditions set out by the government, being:
1. Food and Agriculture; which includes those involved in the food value chain and food vendors.
2. Retail and consumer goods suppliers, which include consumer goods suppliers, food retailers e.g. food outlets, raw material suppliers and farmers. Others are those involved in the transportation, logistics and packaging of consumer goods and retail goods that support the medical industry e.g. bedding, linen and emergency clothing for hospitals, health workers and those caring for the sick.
3. Network Infrastructure; which include water, waste water and sanitation, electricity suppliers, renewable energy suppliers gas suppliers, fuel suppliers, law enforcement, defense, safety and security, waste disposal, fire and emergency services, mining and power stations.
4. Medical and Health; which include, hospitals, devices and equipment, pharmaceuticals, funders, doctors, nurses and paramedics.
5. Forestry and Sawmills; for the production of disposable, health and hygiene products including toilet paper as well as for packaging for food and the health supply chain.
6. IT Systems and Telecommunications
7. Finance and Insurance
8. Tourism and Hospitality
9. Communications e.g. Media
10. Hardware Shops
11. Funeral Parlours
12. NGOs – particularly those servicing essential industries.
13. Public Transport and cross-border trade transport – These will operate under the guidelines that the government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has issued. For cross-border transport, this will be restricted to essential services as defined in Eswatini, South Africa and Mozambique.
“All other businesses shall remain closed,” said the minister.
The minister warned against price inflation and unfair business practices saying the ministry has noted with concern that some businesses continue to inflate prices for food and goods to the detriment of the consumers. “On the other hand, we have received disturbing reports of some shops that force consumers to buy goods for a certain amount before they can be sold scarce commodities,” said Khumalo. He added that as a ministry, they strongly condemn such acts, which are in contravention of Section 18 of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Regulations 2020.
The minister said working together with armed forces they shall be vigilant and conduct random inspections on shops. Anyone found to be in breach of these Regulations shall be liable to a fine not exceeding E500 000 as stated in Section 24, said the minister