8 April 2020 Media Release: Role of various institutions in relation to permits, certificates and other approvals

Media Release: Role of various institutions in relation to permits, certificates and other approvals

For Immediate Release
8 April 2020

The COVID-19 response requires a practical multi-agency approach to address a myriad of issues facing South Africa during the lockdown. One solution is the appointment of essential workers from the public and private sectors. These workers risk their lives to keep the economy going and curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus by working in the frontline to assist those infected by the COVID-19 virus. It is also necessary for all essential workers to keep the relevant documentation issued by an authority with them while performing their duties.

“It should be noted and stressed that if anyone forges applications, certificates or permits, they will be liable to criminal prosecution and sanction,” said Gerhard Otto, Manager Municipal Disaster Management for the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM).

The role(s) of institutions who issue permits/certificates, etc.:

1. South African Police Services (SAPS)

SAPS only issue permits to people who plan to attend a funeral in a metropolitan area outside the district they reside in or a funeral in another province. SAPS issues no other permits.  The contact details of SAPS offices in the Garden Route district, include:

  • Albertinia: 028 735 8050
  • Calitzdorp: 044 213 8803
  • Conville: 044 803 3325
  • Da Gamaskop: 044 606 2229
  • De Rust: 044 241 2050
  • Dysselsdorp: 044 251 8403
  • George: 044 803 4705
  • Groot Brakrivier: 044 620 8300
  • Heidelberg: 028 722 1910
  • Knysna: 044 302 6600
  • KwaNokuthula: 044 501 4217
  • Kwanonqaba: 044 606 5600
  • Ladismith: 028 551 8106
  • Mossel Bay: 044 606 2800
  • Oudtshoorn: 044 203 9002
  • Pacaltsdorp: 044 803 9110
  • Plettenberg Bay: 044 501 1913
  • Riversdale: 028 713 8500
  • Stilbaai: 027 754 6100
  • Thembalethu: 044 802 8906
  • Uniondale: 044 752 6610

2. Local Municipalities (Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Bitou, Greater Oudtshoorn and Kannaland)

    • Issue permits to their own municipal staff who perform essential work.
    • Issue permits to companies that provide services to them.
    • Local municipalities issue business licences (except for George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn Municipalities), including licences to informal food traders (spaza shops, food vendors and hawkers). Business owners must contact local municipalities for details pertaining to licensing procedures and various health and safety regulations. Categories that require strict compliance in this instance include zoning, health (the district municipality issues a Certificate of Acceptability) and safety (particularly fire). Spaza shop owners and informal food traders must hold permits issued by their respective local municipalities allowing them to trade. Spaza shop owners and informal food traders currently trading without permits may apply for temporary permits. In case of non-South African citizens, the business owner must have lawfully admitted into the Republic and must hold a valid passport with a visa issued by the Department of Home Affairs or must alternatively hold an asylum seeker’s permit issued in terms of section 22 of the Refugees Act, 1998 (Act No. 130 of 1998).

2.1 Issuing of permits for companies providing essential services to municipality

2.2 Issuing of licences to informal food traders

 3. Garden Route District Municipality

Garden Route District municipality issues a Certificate of Acceptability (COA) to those who are planning to approach a local municipality for a business licence. Permits are also issued by GRDM to companies who provide services to it, as well as to all essential workers at a district level.

3.1 Certificate of Acceptability

3.2 Essential Services to Garden Route District Municipality

Tippie Bouwer / tippie@gardenroute.gov.za / 083 941 0885

4. National Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC)

Businesses providing essential services to the general public are required to seek approval via the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s online portal (www.bizportal.gov.za) to trade during the lockdown period. Approval is granted by the DTIC, who emails a certificate to each applicant stating that they can continue trading. This certificate is proof to authorities that the applicant has been given permission by Government to trade and that its employees are able to have unrestricted movement ONLY for work purposes during the lockdown.

Contact 086 184 3384 for more information.

5. Private sector companies providing transport

Permits for public transport services are issued by the Chief Executive Officers of the public transport service providers. It must include the operating shifts or work schedules of employees. This means that the permits issued by employers to their employees may have to be amended either by adding the timetable as an addendum, or by issuing a new permit.

6. Sector Departments

Various sector departments also issue permits to their workers. These include, but are not limited to national and provincial sector departments.

Those not required to apply for new permits

Healthcare professionals registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, sole proprietors who provide essential goods and services (including those who were registered before the COVID-19 pandemic, i.e. spaza shops, food vendors and hawkers), and all farmers. The above mentioned healthcare professionals, business owners and small-scale farmers must carry a copy of their original permit by them.


Media Queries
Herman Pieters | Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
E-mail: communications@gardenroute.gov.za