Essential Services and Woodstock during COVID-19 and the National Lockdown

Both WID and the City of Cape Town are hard at work managing the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown on our community.

Below is a resource of information, tools and resources to assist during this period,

City of Cape Town COVID-19 Toolkit

Available at this link is a COVID-19 Information Toolkit supplied for circulation by the City of Cape Town.

Essential Service Regulations

Following the implementation of a nationwide Lockdown, South African government emphasized that all people classified as essential workers must adhere to the regulations gazetted by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Occupational Health and Safety measures in the workplace (updated 4 May)

The Department of Employment and Labour has issued COVID-19 Direction on Health and Safety in the Workplace, including regulations for health screening, social distancing and protective wear. Download full guidelines here.

The Correct Use of Face Masks

There has been much debate globally and locally about whether members of the general public should be advised to wear face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the epidemic unfolds, support for the wide use of cloth face-masks, including for people who are not ill, is growing. The main benefit of everyone wearing a face-mask is to reduce the amount of Coronavirus (or Influenza virus) being coughed up by those with the infection thereby reducing its spread through droplets.

Since some persons with the Coronavirus may not have symptoms or may not know they are infected, everyone should wear a face mask.

The National Department of Health therefore recommends that everyone in South Africa should wear a cloth face-mask (also known as a non-medical mask) when in public. Commuters travelling in taxis and other forms of public transport, as well as people spending time in spaces where physical distancing is difficult to practice, are particularly encouraged to wear cloth face masks.

Guidelines for correct use are as follows:

1. Only use a mask that has been washed and ironed.

2. Wash your hands before putting the mask on.

3. Place the mask with the correct side facing your face, and ensure that it covers both your nose and mouth properly.

4. Tie the strings behind your head, or if you are using elastic bands, make sure these are tight.

5. Make sure it fits well. Move it around to get the best fit. Never touch the cloth part.

6. Once you have put on the mask, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE again until you take it of.

7. When you take it off, undo the ties, and carefully fold the mask inside out, hold it by the strings/elastic and place the mask in a container reserved for washing the cloth mask.

8. Wash your hands thoroughly and dry before doing anything else.

9. Wash cloth masks with warm soapy water and iron when dry.

10. You must have at least two cloth masks per person so you will be able to wash one and have a clean one ready for use.

11. Masks should be washed with soap and hot water, rinsed thoroughly and ironed.


Cloth face-masks are recommended as part of respiratory hygiene or etiquette which also includes coughing and sneezing into a bent elbow or a tissue (with proper disposal of the tissue). The use of cloth face-masks does not reduce the need for other prevention strategies and should never be promoted separately from hand-washing (or sanitising), physical distancing and other components of cough/sneeze hygiene.

Essential Service Regulations under Level 4 are as follows:

As the country moved from Lockdown Level 5 to Lockdown level 4, we saw a list of revised regulations being introduced stating what is and what is not allowed at this level. These are as follows:

  • Essential services workers who will be allowed to report for work during the nationwide lockdown or any persons on the road are expected to carry a permit or any form of identification, which they will have to present to law enforcement agencies during the lockdown period. If no identification is presented, the person to whom the permit is issued will have to return to his or her place of residence.
  • Road-based public transport can now operate with a 70% passenger limit – between 05:00 and 19:00, with a grace period of an hour to complete their trips and drop off passengers. Loading capacity for metered taxis and e-hailing services will remain at 50%, with a five-seater vehicle permitted to carry a maximum of two passengers and a driver. Buses will be allowed to transport 70% passengers of their licensed loading capacity, with requisite social distancing, wearing of masks by all passenger and other mitigating measures.
  • Only staff rendering essential services and those out for essential purposes, such as buying groceries or going to work, are allowed to leave home.
  • Grocery stores including the corner shops, spaza shops, fruit and vegetable stores, to comply with the lockdown Regulations, and all shop owners and informal food traders must hold permits issued by their respective local municipalities allowing them to trade. As stipulated in government’s amended regulations, goods that are allowed to be sold include fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish and sweets and cool drinks. As part of the conditions, trading can only take place between 8am and 5pm, personal protective equipment like masks and gloves must be used, a distance of a metre apart should be maintained between trading stalls and banned items like cigarettes must not be sold. Read full regulations pertaining to grocery stores here.
  • Masks are obligatory. Everyone has to wear cloth face masks outside their homes. If you don’t yet have a cloth mask, you can wear a scarf or a t-shirt wrapped around your mouth and nose, says Dlamini-Zuma.
  • Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 20H00 until 05H00 daily, except where a person has been granted a permit to perform an essential or permitted service or is attending to a security or medical emergency.
  • Any person who was not at their place of residence, or work before the lockdown period and who could not travel between provinces, metropolitan and distr ict areas during the lockdown, will be permitted, on a once-off basis, to return to their places of residence or work and will be required to stay in such place until the end of Alert Level 4.
  • TransportThere is a limit of three people per private vehicle, and 70% capacity in taxis. All taxis and e-hailing services such as Uber and Bolt must be sanitised daily, and hand sanitisers must be provided.
    •All gatherings are banned, except for funerals; when at a workplace; or when buying or obtaining goods and services.
    •Food Sales
    The sale of takeaways will be permitted for delivery only – from fast food outlets and restaurants. Restaurants can open for food delivery services only, between 09:00 to 19:00.
    •The sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor is prohibited
    •The lockdown Regulation Level 4 allows for walking, running and cycling between the hours of 6am and 9am within a 5km radius of your place of residence provides that it is not done in organized groups. •Live-in domestic staff and childminders in private households can return to work as part of Level 4 of the national lockdown. Staff employed by private households who care for the sick, mentally ill, elderly and people with disabilities will also be allowed to work, according to new regulations.
    •Children can move between divorced parents if they are in the same city or municipalities, provided they have a court order, a parenting plan (registered with the family advocate) or a permit issued by a magistrate.
    •You can only move between a province, city or district if you are the deceased’s spouse/partner, child, child-in-law, sibling, parent, step-parent or grand-parent – and you have to obtain a permit. Only 50 people can attend a funeral and night vigils are banned
    •All borders remain closed, Except for cargo.For a full list of all regulations, click on the link below:https://www.g
  • Gatherings are banned, except for funerals, which may be attended by only 50 people or less.
  • Movement between provinces, metros and district areas are also banned and roadblocks on the community, provincial and national roads are being conducted, to enforce this with health screenings to ensure movement is restricted.

Premier Alan Winde had this to say:

“Staying home is the only way to save lives. I know that what we are asking for is difficult, and it is scary, but we have overcome many, many challenges as a country. We can do it again, together. If we all do this, we will be able to go back to our lives again and start to rebuild our economy. If we do not, and the virus continues to spread, many people will die and the lockdown may be extended. So now is the time. We can do this together. Let us be strong now for each other.”

Winde also explained that they had put measures in place to assist victims of violence. “Rendering services to victims of crime and violence is an essential service. The Western Cape Department of Social Development and civil society organisations will continue to provide these services through provision of shelters and psycho-social support,” says Winde. Four shelters had been identified as Stage 1 shelters to admit at-risk victims of crime and violence but only referrals from a social worker with safety risk assessment and SAPS referral will be accepted. He said the Department of Health would assist with medical screening and the medical needs of clients.

For a comprehensive and up-to-date list of regulations, please visit

Businesses not registered as an essential service

If you have not yet registered your business as an essential service, please see the four-step guideline on how to do so.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry the process is as follows:


Go to the Bizportal website at


After clicking on the Services tab, on the top right of the page, you will be taken to a new page with icons. The icon you want to click on next is the Covid-19 essential services icon – which is bright red.


Once you click on this Covid-19 essential services icon, you will be taken to another page where
you will be able to make an application to the CIPC. The page includes a list of essential services. Scroll down to the bottom where you will find the application icon.


According to the DTI, the application will be a “simple declaration”, requiring minimal registration details, including this such as the type of business/trade, trading name, whether it meets the requirements contained in the essential services list. The list of essential services is available on the website too.

Tips when applying:
  • The person applying must fill out their contact details, as well as the number of employees that will be working during the lockdown period.
  • The CIPC registry will then pre-populate the remaining company information.
  • A certificate stating that the business is allowed to remain trading will be emailed or can be downloaded from the site.
  • The certificate can then be used as evidence to authorities – to show the business has been given government permission to trade, according to the DTI. The business’s employees will have unrestricted movement, only in the course of the trade.

“It should be stressed and noted that if you make a false application to the CIPC, and are indeed not an essential service as per the government regulations, such will be taken as a fraudulent application and will render yourself as applicant liable to criminal prosecution and sanction,” the DTI warned.

Woodstock Improvement District as an essential service

Upon the announcement of the national lockdown, a notable essential service is the Woodstock Improvement District – WID, who has revised its plans to mitigate risk while still delivering essential services and assisting the community.

The Woodstock Improvement District is funded by business owners in a defined residential and commercial area of Woodstock. Governed by the Municipal Property Rates Act and relevant bylaws, we focus on providing top-up services to those delivered by the City of Cape Town.

Working in the public spaces of Woodstock, WID provides a public safety service, cleaning and greening services on the streets and in the parks, as well as outreach services to the homeless and other vulnerable community members. WID has been registered as an essential service with CIPC and has received a certificate. We have adopted strict hygiene protocols in line with international guidelines in our offices to ensure the well-being of all staff members as well as our community.

WID and Social Development in Woodstock during COVID-19

The Social Development Department at WIDs’ goals and objectives include educating and assisting the homeless in their respective categories, for example, elderly, disabled and substance abuse, during this time.

On 26 March, the Head of Department, Abigail Abrahams, distributed packs of soap, toilet paper and gloves to the homeless in Woodstock and engaged in an awareness program on the COVID-19 virus and what precautions and safety measures to take whilst on the streets.

Abigail has successfully managed to place five homeless adults at the Safe Space at the Culemborg Bridge on the Foreshore and is also working with the Woodstock CAN to feed these homeless people during the 21 day lockdown.

Abigail notes that donations of tinned foods and instant porridge are welcome. If you would like to donate please contact her on 021-462 7321.

WID thanks businesses

The Woodstock Improvement District would also like to thank all businesses and all other members for their cooperation and compliance during this stressful period.

Woodstock 21 Day Lockdown

Helping those in need

During the lockdown many shelters in the city are full to capacity and some are no longer accepting new entrants after the start of the lockdown. The city has pledged to build new sites and increase capacity, but many are still to be completed. The first of these is under the
Culemborg bridge and is open. A number of shelters and the City have advised that homeless persons be directed to these designated sites in the meantime, where staff can assist them.

Below is a list of shelters open (to new entrants if/when there is space) during the lockdown and a list of organisations requesting assistance and where/how you can help support those on the streets during this time. Please call ahead to your nearest shelter to find out if there is space before directing anyone there.

Anyone with more information please get in touch with the Woodstock CAN whatsapp group so that we can keep this document up to date and accurate.

Shelters for homeless people in (or near) Woodstock
  • Culemborg Safe Space

Located at the Nelson Mandela Blvd, Foreshore, in the parking lot. Opposite this shelter is the location for City of Cape Town’s first additional shelter built for the lockdown, opened on 28 March. Contact: Zahid Badroodien, CoCT MayCo Member for Community Services and Health on 072 639 5773.

  • The Haven Shelter

Located in District 6, 20 Selkirk Street. Contact them on 021 465 1310.

  • The Haven

Located at Moira Henderson House. 107 Chapel Street, Woodstock. Contact them on 021 461 25 33, alternatively email

Resources available and where/how to contribute:

Woodstock Salt River Community Upliftment Project

Contact: Eddie Thompson, 074 728 2521,
They have a permit to operate and are able to collect donations and deliver to those in need.
Meals will be cooked and distributed from the Woodstock Mosque.
Goods can be dropped at 328 Albert Road, Woodstock – mirror shop opposite the Biscuit Mill.

Looking for:
Money, masks, material donations (has an industrial sewing machine), sanitizer, soap, toilet paper, bread, rice, bottled water, coffee, tea, sugar, milk, plates and cups, Large gas stove, Large pot, urn for boiling water much needed to complete pots of food and pots of soup: potatoes, onions, tomatoes, danya and chilies and spices, buttermilk, meat, fish or chicken. Bones/ chicken backs and veggies. Salt and pepper. Clean 20-litre plastic drums with lids to deliver soup, or other containers to provide food while limiting queues.

The Haven Night Shelters

Contact: Hassan Khan 083281 0339
A tented shelter in the CBD providing meals in District Six and Napier Street

Looking for:
Money, ingredients for meals

Can collect donations and Payment gateway for financial donations on their website at

City of Cape Town Covid-19 Business Impact survey

The Investment Facilitation Unit of the City of Cape Town has refocused its Investment Facilitation support to Business Retention measures during this COVID-19 pandemic. A survey is being sent out to companies to see how the current COVID-19 measures are affecting business. The purpose of the survey is to identify interventions that the City (and other institutions) can take to assist businesses during these difficult economic times. We therefore appeal to all to participate in this survey as it will provide the City with the valuable information needed to find solutions for businesses.

Download the survey here and email to

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