- South Africans will be able to indulge in some online shopping as of Thursday
- Citizens will now be allowed to purchase any product other than alcohol and cigarettes
- This relaxations comes into immediate effect and lifts the partial ban on e-commerce
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South African online retail stores may now sell any product as long as it is not tobacco and alcohol products.
Newly published regulations saw e-commerce sites freed from rules limiting them to the same small range of items actual stores are allowed to sell.
The relaxation comes into effect immediately after South Africa was one of the only countries globally to cease e-commerce operations during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Briefly.co.za reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced concessions would be made in coming days and this forms part of his announcement.
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The ban on online tobacco and alcohol products will also only affect parts of South Africa that don't move to Level 3.
Online retailers were prompted to promote local products, with the new rules stating that.
"In order to limit the social and economic hardship caused by the pandemic on local industries and enable consumer choice to support local producers, retailers must give prominence to those goods which are manufactured in the Republic of South Africa."
Minister Ebrahim Patel had lauded the benefits of online sales during the pandemic, commenting that.
"e-Commerce can be a critical enabler to opening the economy through contactless transactions, which can reduce the movement of consumers, and the density of shoppers in retail spaces," the section reads. "Further it can accelerate innovation, support local manufacturing and increase access by the informal market and poorer South Africans."
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