South Africa’s in-store clothing regulations under lockdown level 4. A summary of the COVID-19 clothing directives from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s Ebrahim Patel. (Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash)

Keeping covered up under lockdown. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s regulations on in-store clothes sales.

Resource details:

Publication title: Directions regarding the sale of clothing, footwear and bedding during Alert Level 4 of the COVID-19 National State of Disaster.

Author(s): Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. 

Publication date: 12 May 2020

What the directives are about:

Guidelines gazetted by Ebrahim Patel, South Africa’s minister of trade, industry and competition on the in-store sale of clothing, footwear and bedding under lockdown level four. The directives guide retail stores and consumers on essential goods that can be sold and purchased in physical stores during level four.

[Note: guidelines gazetted on 14 May 2020 by Patel allow for the online sale and purchase of all goods other than alcohol and tobacco.]

Key take-aways from the directives:

  • Clothing that can be sold during lockdown level 4, include:
    • All children’s clothing, including baby and toddler wear;
    • Adult sleepwear and underwear;
    • Maternity wear;
    • Adult closed-toed shoes, including heels and flats, sneakers and boots;
    • Outerwear including jackets, coats, dresses and gym gear; and 
    • Accessories such as shawls, beanies, and scarves make the sartorial cut.
  • Restrictions will be lifted on the sale of bedding including electric blankets, duvets, quilts and comforters. 

You can find and download the directives here.

[Please note: Information on the new coronavirus is rapidly changing. Please refer to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition for the latest information. Visit for updates on South Africa’s coronavirus response.]

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Gopolang Makou was the impact and engagement officer at Bhekisisa.