Mbabane: Government has issued that low risk non-essential businesses are to return to work in a gradual relaxation of business operation, beginning tomorrow, April 16, under strict hygiene conditions. The Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini during a press conference at the Cabinet offices on April 15 said this will ensure that the country balances the health interests and economic stability of the Kingdom.
The low risk none-essential businesses as identified by the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Mancoba Khumalo are;
- Food vendors
- Stationery shops
- Car dealerships
- Cleaning services (including dry cleaners)
- Driving schools
- Breakdown services
- Car wash businesses
- Manufacturing industries
- Clothes shops (including baby clothes shops who will operate between 10am and 3pm, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) and
- Photographic studios
The government’s announcement of the gradual relaxation of business operation will come as a relief to the public who had expected that the lockdown would be announced yesterday, April 14 and took effect today, April 15. April 14 wrapped up the 20 day partial lockdown which started March 27 and by yesterday government had not said anything.
The minister of commerce, however, issued that these businesses would be those that are tax compliant, before they can be issued permits obtainable at the ministry.
The minister went on to state that the permitted business operators, especially those that work closely with the public will have to wear masks, in addition to disinfecting their stores when opening and closing them. He said not wearing a mask can invite the police who can pounce and effect arrests. The businesses will also be expected to scan customers for temperature in addition to sanitising their hands.
Khumalo said government will continue to work with the municipalities, the police and the ministry of commerce to ensure that adherence to the regulations of the lockdown extension occurs.
Essential businesses as listed by the government at the start of the initial 20 day partial lockdown will continue working uninterrupted, businesses which include the food and agricultural sector, forestry and sawmills and funeral parlours.
Essential businesses were identified as follows:
- Food retailers
- Consumer Goods suppliers
- Manufacturers and all businesses that are involved in the food and consumer goods supply chain.
- Agriculture and Agro-processing
- Public Transport and cross-border transport
- Fuel stations
- Financial services
- Waste disposal services
- Health workers and Emergency Response Workers
- Fire and Emergency services
- Security Services
- Water and Sanitation Services
- Hospitality industry
- Energy sector