The Regulations to the Disaster Management Act 2002 have been amended for the third time. The amendment extends the meaning of “essential services”. For financial services, “essential services” used to mean:
‘financial services necessary to maintain the functioning of the banking and payment environment, including the JSE and similar exchanges, as well as Insurance services’.
“Essential services” in relation to financial services has now been amended to include:
“the following services necessary to maintain the functioning of a financial system as defined in section 1(1) of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, only when the operation of a place of business or entity is necessary to continue to perform those services:
- the banking environment (including the operations of mutual banks, cooperative banks, co-operative financial institutions and the Postbank);
- the payments environment;
iii. the financial markets (including market infrastructures licensed under the Financial Markets Act, 2012 (Act No. 19 of 2012);
- the insurance environment;
- the savings and investment environment;
- pension fund administration;
vii. outsourced administration;
viii. medical schemes administration; and
- additional services designated in terms of regulation 11B(4A)(c)(i)”.
The abovementioned services may not be interpreted to include debt collection services.
So, the above-mentioned services would be “essential services” and would be able to continue to work from their place of business where this is necessary to perform their services. Outsourced administration activities related to “pension fund administration” could possibly include outsourced services such as death benefit services and tracing services, amongst others.