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Retailers, couriers must stick to rules, says DTI as online shopping allowed

The DTI and Cooperative Governance Department gazetted new regulations on e-commerce on Thursday.

FILE: Online stores are now allowed to sell all goods except cigarettes and alcohol. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said while the regulations on online shopping have been lifted, retailers and courier services must abide by protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The DTI and the Department of Cooperative Governance gazetted new regulations on e-commerce on Thursday.

Online stores are now allowed to sell all goods except cigarettes and alcohol.

According to the gazetted protocols for retailers, in order to limit the social and economic hardship caused by the pandemic on local businesses, retailers must give prominence to goods manufactured in South Africa.

They must also provide as many payment options as possible for consumers, which are based on reducing risks of transmission and enabling poorer consumers to access delivery services.

For courier and delivery personnel, they are required to have their own hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes, which must be refilled daily.

These workers are not allowed to enter the home of a customer if they and all others in that vicinity are not wearing face masks.

The department said online shopping was 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.