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DTI will take past criticism into account while preparing level 3 regulations

The DTI has faced criticism in the past on some of its regulations; such as the ban on cooked foods and e-commerce – which have since been allowed.

Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel at an inter-ministerial briefing on 24 March 2020 detailing how government will respond ahead of and during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The department of trade and industry (DTI) conceded that it may have erred too much on the side of caution in its drafting of lockdown regulations.

The department appeared before Parliament's committee on trade and industry to explain how it responded to COVID-19.

The DTI has faced criticism in the past on some of its regulations; such as the ban on cooked foods and e-commerce – which have since been allowed; and the restrictions of some clothing items.

The director-general in the department Lionel October said government understands why people have been critical of some of its regulations.

He said their intentions were good.

“We take the point. We may have erred to much on the side of caution. The intention was in good faith – we wanted to reduce the amount of movement, we wanted to reduce the amount of people within the retail stores and workers on the road whether it be e-commerce or not. The consideration has always been on public health.”

The DTI said it learned from the past experiences and is now working on easing more regulations as most parts of the country move to level 3 lockdown.