Car repair
Commercial car repair in Soweto in December 2006. (Per-Anders Pettersson)
  • Car sales and servicing is legal again under Alert Level 4, after new rules were published on Tuesday night.
  • But there are strict conditions, especially at first.
  • Anyone can get a car serviced, but the service must be due. No early or cosmetic work is allowed.
  • Car dealerships must be kept empty at first, and home delivery of cars is mandatory.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

As of Tuesday night it is possible to buy and sell cars again in South Africa, and to get vehicles serviced – under strict conditions, especially at first.

The rules, published in the Government Gazette by trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel, also covers motorcycles, trailers, caravans, and agricultural implements. Also now allowed is the import and export of those vehicles, wholesale trade in them, and the movement of cars to dealerships.

Patel also on Tuesday night published his department's list of clothing and bedding allowed to be sold under Alert Level 4.

See also: Here is the entire list of clothing and bedding you can now buy again under new Level 4 rules

Under "phase one" of the reopening of the motoring industry, car outlets may only have 30% of their staff on site, but with no more than one customer or employee for every nine square metres of floorspace (though small businesses may have a minimum staff of five at work.)

"The majority" of cars must be sold online or by telephone, and cars must be delivered, at buyers' homes, after being sanitised.

Only from 8 June will dealerships be allowed to operate at 100% capacity. 

Once they arrive at dealerships, cars may move between dealers only within the same province. In similar fashion, car owners are required "to maintain or service their cars within their own municipal boundaries unless in case of extraordinary circumstances."

Car services for everyone – when due, and nothing cosmetic.

The new Level 4 rules allow any repairs required for safety or roadworthiness, and routine servicing for everyone, not only essential services workers. 

But a service interval or milage must have come due; no early services are allowed, and cosmetic repair work is specifically excluded.

Any business that helps repair cars may also operate under the rules, specifically including auto electricians, tyre fitment, windscreen replacement, and autobody repairers.

Those support services must operate under the same restrictions as car dealers.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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