COVID-19 National Lockdown – how we’re going forward

Updated: Thursday, 26 March 2020, 17h00

We strongly advise all merchants that are planning to ship non-essential products today to NOT do so, as the couriers cannot guarantee that these parcels will be delivered during the lockdown period, but only afterwards. Please only book collections for essential goods to ensure delivery. 

We have just received notice from The Courier Guy that today, 26 March 2020, they are only doing same-day economy service on all parcels and can not collect overnight parcels or Domestic Road Freight parcels that are not essential. ONLY essential goods may be collected and the account holder needs to be an essential good supplier. These clients must also please put an invoice outside of the box of what they are shipping. This is so that if the courier vehicles are stopped, the authorities can see what the contents of the parcel are.

If you are going to make use of Dawn Wing during the lockdown period, you MUST complete a signed declaration form and send it back to Dawn Wing by the end of today (26 March 2020). (See statement from Dawn Wing). The form is available below and must be sent to covid19@dawnwing.co.za by the end of the day. Please also CC support@uafrica.com in this email.

Please note that the information below is as received from each courier company and is subject to change. uAfrica needs to comply with the procedures as stipulated by each courier company and can sadly only provide information as and when we receive it from each courier. Due to the short time period to make important business decision based on limited information, we apologise in advance if expectations cannot be met. 

Dawn Wing, The Courier Guy and Courier It will all be operating during the lockdown period, since “Transport, Logistics and Delivery” is seen as part of “essential services”. However, they will only deliver goods that are defined as “Essential Goods” and have the right to deny collecting and delivering parcels that are not during the lockdown period. 

It is thus, the responsibility of the person or company dispatching the goods to confirm with the relevant authorities whether they are allowed to move/sell their products during this time – simply put, your product needs to be defined as an essential product. This is vital because the couriers, as well as uAfrica will not take any liability for unsuitable products being moved. Thus, even if you take out insurance on these products, the courier has the right to deny the claim because they are non-essential goods being insured.

In other words, should the courier vehicles get stopped by the police or local authorities, the liability will lie with the company dispatching the freight if it is discovered that the couriers are delivering a “non-essential” product. if the relevant courier company gets penalized by the government, they also reserve the right to take legal action against the company dispatching the goods. 

It is important to note that service levels will not apply during this period, as there will most likely be delays in delivery due to cancelled flights and working with limited staff. Shipments booked before the lockdown period, that are yet to be delivered will most likely also be delayed. Also important to note is that due to lack of confirmation from the government, the couriers cannot confirm that non-essential parcels collected this week will still be delivered during the lockdown. Shipments for non-essential parcels booked today still will very likely not be delivered during the lockdown.  We would thus advise merchants to take caution when shipping non-essential products today still. 

We urge all merchants that will be shipping essential goods to ensure that they follow all the relevant health and safety regulations to comply with government regulation. These are very uncertain times for all South Africans, so we encourage you to show compassion and make the right decisions for the safety of your employees and customers. 

Statements from our Courier Partners:

Dawn Wing

Read their official statement from their website, as well as email correspondence we received from them on Wednesday, 25 March 2020. As mentioned above, you must complete a declaration form before COB 26 March 2020 in order to use their services during the lockdown period. 

Courier It

Read their full statement on their website.

The Courier Guy

See official statement below:

Press Statement from The Courier Guy regarding the National Lockdown

We will continue to try to do our very best to communicate only the most relevant and up-to-date information. Unfortunately, we can only provide information as and when we receive it from each courier. We apologise in advance if expectations cannot be met

What is considered “essential”?

This is a government notice from The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs with regards to the categorisation of essential goods:

We are trying to find a person or company who will be able to verify whether or not your products are considered essential or not. Until then, please use this list.

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