Business for South Africa (B4SA), working with partners, is providing business in the informal sector with a set of easy to use Return to Work resources to help guide them on how to operate within the new requirements for health and safety, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Africa.
A set of six guidelines were published covering fast food outlets, home services, small retail, mobile sellers, internet cafés and auto services in the informal sector. The guidelines and tools can be found on https://www.return2work.co.za/informal-sectors/ and are being provided in other accessible formats for informal sector businesses.
The Return to Work resources offer businesses a safe, effective and structured return to work plan with mandatory and recommended guidelines for the workplace and daily business operations.
The extended re-opening of the economy under enhanced level 3 in a phased and risk adjusted manner is a welcome move as it allows more people the capacity to earn and restore their livelihoods. As more businesses are allowed to operate and more people return to work we need to ensure that businesses of all sizes and formats operate in a responsible manner so that all are kept safe and businesses remain open.
As B4SA, we echo the President’s call for each of us to take personal responsibility in reducing the likelihood that we will get infected or infect others. In communities across our countries, business owners can play a leadership role in setting the example and creating a safe environment for their employees, customers and suppliers.
The Return to Work guidelines and protocols call for businesses to implement and practice stringent health and hygiene measures, amongst others, in the workplace for the protection of themselves, their employees, suppliers and customers. This includes educating staff on how to use Personal Protective Equipment and encouraging its consistent use, regular washing of hands and ensuring customers practice social distancing. Safe transportation guidelines for employees taking public transport are also outlined.
Guidelines for businesses trading in the informal sector were developed with national and local informal sector industry associations representing spaza stores; homes services such as electricians and plumbers; open markets and transport ranks; hawkers and mobile-sellers.
The guidelines are informed by South African realities with the recognition that they may need to be adjusted according to specific conditions.