Cape Town - Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel on Tuesday night published a list of clothing, bedding and footwear South African retailers are allowed to sell according to Level 4 lockdown regulations.
But Patel has drawn criticism for the list, which very narrowly defines the categories of winter clothes, shoes and homeware that may be sold.
The regulations gazetted by Patel limit the footwear that stores are permitted to sell to "closed toe" shoes, trainers and slippers.
They furthermore specify that the sale of cropped pants is allowed, but only if these items are meant to be worn with winter shoes and hose.
According to the list published in the Government Gazette, the following categories of clothing and footwear and bedding are permissible for sale by retailers.
Baby and toddler clothing and footwear
- All children’s wear, including: outerwear, underwear, sleepwear, school wear and school shoes; footwear, socks; and related accessories.
- All maternity wear
- All adult sleepwear and gowns
- All adult underwear
Adult footwear categories:
boots, slippers, closed-toe heels, closed-toe flat shoes, sneakers and trainers, smart closed-toe shoes, casual closed-toe shoes.
Adult outerwear categories:
active wear, including gym, running and other exercise apparel, knitwear, jackets and coats, dresses, long sleeved tops, long sleeved T-shirts, denim jeans and denim jackets, pants, skirts, short sleeved knit tops (where promoted and displayed as worn under cardigans and knitwear), short sleeved T-shirts (where promoted and displayed as under garments for warmth), leggings, crop bottoms worn with boots and leggings, shirts, either short- or long-sleeved (where displayed and promoted to be worn under jackets coats and/or knitwear), golf shirts, one-pieces such as bodysuits.
shawls and scarves, beanies, gloves, socks, belts, headwear, gym and exercise apparel accessories; and hair accessories.
baby bedding and blankets, duvets, duvet inners, blankets, comforters, quilts, mattress protectors, pillows, throws, sheets and pillow cases; and electric blankets.
The Department of Trade and Industry said the retail industry had requested that Patel gazette a list to spell out which items were allowed, and it was compiled with input from industry stakeholders.
Patel said the engagement with the industry had been positive. He urged shoppers to favour South African-made items.
“I call on consumers to look for South African-made products, made proudly by local workers, so that we can rebuild the economy," he said.
"The manufacturing and retail sector has been through a very difficult time and the resumption of clothing sales under level 4 of the new risk-adjusted approach will assist to provide greater levels of production and commerce in the sector.”
The official opposition Democratic Alliance said the time had come for President Cyril Ramaphosa to dismiss Patel, who has also drawn fire for refusing to allow e-commerce under level 4.
"These new clothing regulations are, frankly, mad and seem more at place during the 1980s under the Soviet Union than they do in a democracy like South Africa," the DA's trade and industry spokesperson, Dean Macpherson, said.
"It is now beyond doubt that Minister Patel is running amok without any restraint from President Ramaphosa. He has been allowed to pick winners and losers in the economy, to determine what is 'fair' and now has gone to the extreme to determine what clothes people can buy and how they should wear them.
"The president should now step up to the plate and sack Patel without delay."