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EFSA - Protecting your rights as an ecommerce business and expressing your needs to the relevant government departments and opinion formers

What Ecommerce Forum South Africa is doing during the COVID emergency?

The Ecommerce Forum South Africa has been working tirelessly for the common good of all those involved in ecommerce since the Lockdown started. We wrote to three Ministers (Finance, Trade and Industry, Communications and Digital Technologies) at the beginning of April asking for ecommerce to be exempt (as it is in nearly all countries around the world). Subsequently we wrote a second letter specifically asking for e-merchants who sell abroad to be allowed to fulfill orders they are getting from overseas.

We have been in contact with those Ministries, and we were invited to join the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services Committee on Level 4. A special Ecommerce sub-group has been set up on ecommerce. We submitted a Working Document asking for clarity on the list of detailed questions on which goods can be sold by ecommerce under Level 4. We also proposed a general principle – that all goods which can be sold and supplied offline should be sold and supplied online.

We prepared an explanation of the ecommerce value chain, and we are about to submit two other papers on request of the Ministry – a Motivation on why Ecommerce should be allowed to sell; and a paper on the actions taken to ensure safety precautions are taken. We launched a questionnaire to discover what e-shops are doing to make sure we are in line with best practices (see our Code on safety measures that e-shops should adopt on the website). Many thanks to all those who replied. Your responses have been very helpful.

In addition to working with government, we continue to work and collaborate with related sectors – with the courier companies (SAEPA); the Contact Centre association (CCMG), and the Consumer Goods Council (CGCSA).

Lauretta Ngakane

Lauretta Ngakane

Lauretta Ngakane is a seasoned Communications and Reputation Management Specialist with decades of experience in both the public and private sectors. She is a highly focused, independent and well established professional with an extensive track record of advancing brands, organizations and individuals.

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