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Govt lifts restrictions on online shopping but still no alcohol, cigarette sales

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has issued the amendments after consultation with Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Government has lifted restrictions on online shopping, allowing online stores to sell everything except alcohol and cigarettes.

Online sales were limited to essential goods such as winter wear and food since the beginning of the lockdown.

Now, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has issued the amendments after consultation with Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

According to the most recent gazette, e-commerce can be a critical enabler to opening the economy through contactless transactions which can reduce the movement of consumers and the density of shoppers in retail spaces.

Takealot’s CEO and founder Kim Reid said that they were thrilled by this new decision.

"We're super excited about this and we want to thank the government for reconsidering this position that they've taken quite a while to get to a point of making this decision and we just hope that it's not too late for some of the smaller businesses that trade on our platform to actually make up for the opportunity."

This decision by government does come with great responsibility for online companies when it comes to deliveries.

Government said that minimum protocols must be established that retailers and courier services must maintain order to limit the spread of the virus.