Getting businesses back to business to save lives and livelihoods
26 May 2020
STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT, ALDERMAN JAMES VOS.
Together with various stakeholders, the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department has compiled a list of procedures for business to implement so we can get back to business safely and breathe life back into our local economy. Read more below:
The implications of the lockdown measures have been felt in every corner of the City of Cape Town, especially on our economy and the ability of residents to put food on the table for their families.
I therefore welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday that the country will move to level three of the risk adjusted strategy, enabling many more businesses to reopen.
We all have a part to play in stopping the spread of this virus. This means that we need to work hard to stop the spread of the virus in our city so that we are able to safely keep our businesses open and do not go back to a hard lockdown. To achieve this, we must change our behaviour and implement measures to keep safe, save lives and save livelihoods.
All businesses have a part to play in sticking to the rules so that we can remain on level 3. I therefore call on businesses to implement, as a minimum, the following:
- Every company must develop a workplace plan before they re-open
- According to these plans, companies will need to put in place hygiene and social distancing measures and facilities; they will need to screen workers on arrival each day, quarantine those who may be infected and make arrangements for them to be tested.
- They also need to assist with contact tracing if employees test positive.
- Businesses will need to identify and explore ways of protecting employees that are at risk (over 60 years and/or who suffer from underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer), either by enabling them to work from home where possible, changing the nature of their work, isolating their area of work or placing them on paid special leave if the other options are unavailable.
- Enable and allow all employees who can work from home to do so
- Implement staggered and shift working and divide teams into smaller units to reduce the spread of infections and to minimise impacts on business operations should infections occur.
- Stagger working hours for employees and provide transport for them where possible to help reduce congestion on public transport and reduce exposure to infection.
- Ensure that all employees have the required masks and sanitisers for the workplace and for traveling to and from work
- Ensure social distancing, adequate cleaning and good hygiene within the workplace
- Spread out and closely monitor all communal break areas such as canteens and smoke break areas to ensure maintenance of safe practices.
The Western Cape Department of Health has developed guidelines on preventing and managing coronavirus infections in the workplace. I encourage you to closely examine these guidelines here – https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-how-prevent-and-manage-covid-19-infections
To access communications materials such as posters that can be put on display in workplaces please visit
https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/resources and scroll to the business section for access to this material.
To help businesses to procure the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) required to protect employees, the City of Cape Town together with the Provincial government, Wesgro, and in partnership with FNB/RMB, have launched a dedicated online PPE marketplace that provides a single place for small and large PPE manufacturers to promote their product ranges, and for businesses to secure masks and other PPE – see
The City of Cape Town is also assisting businesses who need support and guidance on workplace safety. If you have any questions on COVID-19 workplace safety, please contact the City of Cape Town’s Business Hub at
The Economic Task Team I set up to co-ordinate and streamline the City’s economic response is working hard to ensure that we not only minimise the effects of this crisis – but build a stronger, more resilient future for our businesses and ultimately the residents of Cape Town.
This team has formulated the City’s Economic Action Plan, which identifies three stages of intervention in response to the crisis: respond, adapt and recover, and stabilise. This plan can be found on our Invest Cape Town website at www.InvestCapeTown.com
Our plan highlights the need to continually learn and engage with our network to identify the full and ongoing impact of the crisis – so that we can provide and facilitate the exact support needed.
As we enter a new level of lockdown, our focus now shifts to providing the support needed to reopen safely. I know that if we all work together towards the same goal of saving lives and livelihoods, we can get through this.