southafricalogoThe Citizen reports that the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has cancelled fraudulent certificates allowing companies to trade as essential services during the 21-day national lockdown.  

“Businesses in the CIPC database that are not eligible to continue operations during the lockdown have had their certificates cancelled and will be handed over to the South African Police Service for investigation and potential prosecution,” said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) on Tuesday.  The fraudulent issuing of the certificates was flagged during the course of the review of the essential service list of applications.  “The CIPC has established that certain companies not designated as essential services have either fraudulently or negligently applied on the Bizportal website,” the dti indicated.  It is a criminal offence for any business to continue operating during the lockdown period if it is not providing an essential service, as defined in the applicable regulations and direction, unless such business can be operated using work-from-home arrangements.  It is also a criminal offence for any business to misrepresent the nature of its operations in order to obtain a CIPC certificate.

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