What is considered an essential product? (Level 4)


We are so used to walking into a store and buying whatever we want (depending on your budget of course) that, now, with South Africa on its 4th day of a national lockdown, it may be difficult to distinguish between luxury items and products we wouldn't be able to go without.

Fortunately, the Western Cape’s Department of Health categorises which supplies we will be able to access during the country's three-week lockdown. 

Consumables (Level 4)

  • Food products, including non -alcoholic beverages and animal food.
  • The sale of hot cooked food, only for home delivery.
  • Toilet Paper, sanitary pads, sanitary tampons, and condoms.
  • Hand sanitiser, disinfectants, soap, alcohol for industrial use, household cleaning products, and personal protective equipment.
  • Products for the care of babies and toddlers.
  • Personal toiletries, including hair care, body, face, hand and foot care products, roll-ons, deodorants, dental care products.
  • Medical and Hospital Supplies, medicine, equipment and personal protective equipment.
  • Fuel and lighting, including coal, wood, paraffin and gas.
  • Airtime and electricity.
  • Hardware, components and supplies.
  • Components for vehicles undergoing emergency repairs
  • Chemicals, packaging and ancillary products used in the production of any these products listed in Part E.
  • Textiles required to produce face masks and other personal protective equipment and winter clothing.
  • Winter clothing, footwear, bedding and heaters and the components and fabrics required to manufacture these.
  • Children's clothing and fabrics and components required to manufacture these.
  • Stationery and educational books.
  • Personal ICT equipment including computers, mobile telephones and other home office equipment.

However, the sale of alcohol remains prohibited.


For more information on the Covid-19 pandemic, contact the Coronavirus Disease Hotline for assistance.

NOTE: When you do go out to buy the essentials, remember that South Africa's retail stores can only allow a maximum of fifty people in a store at a time. Once inside, customers must remain at least one metre apart from other shoppers at all times. 

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