Earlier today newly gazetted government regulations regarding level four lockdown has now given all ecommerce platforms the capability of selling any products on their websites and online shopping portals. There are some exceptions though, with the sale of alcohol and cigarettes still banned under the current alert level.
While these newly amended regulations come into immediate effect, for many ecommerce platforms, there will be new conditions they will need to meet in order to deliver items to customers in the country.
One of the prevailing conditions is that locally produced products get preference when promoted to people shopping online.
“In order to limit the social and economic hardship caused by the pandemic on local industries and enable consumer choice to support local producers, retailers must give prominence to those goods which are manufactured in the Republic of South Africa,” the gazetted regulations explain.
Added to this, ecommerce platforms need to provide precise details as to how consumers can disinfect their newly purchased products after they have been delivered.
Furthermore, consumers who are receiving said products will also need to wear a face mask on delivery. This point in particular is hard to argue with, especially as the same is expected of the people delivering the products.
As expected, local ecommerce providers are thrilled at the news, with the past couple of months proving tough for many, with a handful able to effectively pivot to become essential goods providers.
One such firm was Takealot, with CEO Kim Reid providing some comment to Business Insider South Africa.
“We are very pleased to see that the government has decided to open up e-commerce at Level 4 fully, thank you,”Reid told the publication.
“We have been at the forefront of the lobbying process as we believe that it is the safest way to transact at this time. We hope that it is not too late for many small businesses to make up for lost opportunities and save jobs,” he adds.
What this means for other ecommerce platforms, such as RebelTech, which had to shutter its doors and is looking to raise funds in order to pay its staff, remains to be seen.
Regardless, with there still being several cries to re-open the economy, this latest move should help local businesses that were on the brink.
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