As announced by Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel on 25 April 2020, food delivery in South Africa is authorised to operate daily as of 1 May 2020 under restricted hours from 09:00 to 20:00, during level 4 of the national lockdown.”

Popular fish restaurant Ocean Basket and Spur won't be among those to start delivering food in Level 4 of lockdown. Uber Eats and Mr D Food ask outlets up to 30% commission on each meal ordered via their platforms, excluding the delivery fees consumers pay directly – several food outlets reached out to highlight the fee the delivery services ask.

From 1 May, the sale of takeaways food will be permitted for both fast food outlets and sit-down restaurants. Kitchens can open for food delivery services only between 09:00 to 20:00. 

Spur spokesperson Moshe Apleni said all its delivery prices are 10% more than in its restaurants, but that is to account for the 20% to 25% service fee Spur pays the third-party delivery companies.

Amid severe inequality and a migrancy crisis, food delivery apps have provided employment for thousands of immigrants in SA. But the industry is poorly regulated and carries profound safety risks.

One restaurateur, who has a handful of outlets across South Africa, said Uber Eats charges 30% commission, while Mr D Food charges an average of 22%.

Both Uber Eats and Mr D Food previously said they encourage outlets to keep prices at in-store levels. But in an email seen by Business Insider, Mr D Food said restaurants can offset increasing service fees by increasing their prices by between 5% and 10%.

Ocean Basket would reconsider opening again if customers could collect takeaways themselves, Harding says. In current drafts that will only be allowed from Level 2.

Sit-down restaurants will only be permitted to host customers again at Level 1 of Lockdown. Even then, some restaurants like Spur have already indicated that they will remain shut if there are restrictions on alcohol sales and how many people will be allowed on the premises.