Certificate of acceptability – know how?

Certificate Of Acceptability (COA)

By Chris Malanda, 24 October 2018


Starting a new food business or already running a food business? A business license is generally required for companies to comply with health and safety regulations. Since manufacturing, selling and serving food can have an impact on public health, you will need a license to do so.

If you are a peddler who sells food and meals using a food truck, whether you are transporting from one place to another or selling from a vehicle, you will need a permit.

Approved coa

You cannot start trading in a company that requires a license before the licenses are issued. Any transaction without a valid license is punished by a fine of up to R 2000. The licence is governed by the Business Act N ° 71 of 1991.

If you comply with all the requirements, a license will be issued to you. Otherwise, you can request a 14-day grace period, during which you can change your premises to meet the requirements.

Your local municipality manages the commercial licenses and you can contact them for details on the licensing procedures and the various health and safety regulations required for different types of business. The requirements for enterprises in the food sector are defined in a Regulation (62 of the Act No. 54 of 1972 on foodstuffs, cosmetics and disinfectants) and in municipal regulations.
The conditions for obtaining a business licence may vary from one local municipality to another. It is therefore advisable to contact your local municipality to know the specific requirements applicable to your restaurant. These regulations require that food companies have a certificate of acceptability.

To obtain a certificate of acceptability, you will generally be required to provide information on the nature and type of food handled on site, the nature of the handling (e.g. preparation, packaging, processing, etc.) and some other information.

What is the procedure for applying for a licence within the meaning of the Business Act:
There may be slight variations, but in general you will need the following elements:

  • In the case of a company, a certificate of incorporation reflecting the identity number, the name and surname of the owner, its residential and postal address.
  • Identity and surname and first name of the person in charge
  • In the event of a close company, CK1 or CK2 must be attached.
  • In the event of a partnership, a separate calendar showing the name and surname, the identity number and the address of each partner must be attached.
  • In the case of an owner, a copy of the owner ID must be attached
  • In the case of a restaurant or coffee shop, a menu must be attached.
  • Registration Fee

It is best to apply for your certificate of acceptability (COA) at the same time. This will be issued after an inspection of your facility. This certificate must be displayed in a prominent location.


6 thoughts on “Certificate of acceptability – know how?

  1. Tanya

    Hi. Where do I report someone who has no COA certificate, slaughters his animals at home on a farm, that have never been inspected, and sells that uncertified meat to the public in his shop. They don’t have any hygiene procedures or workspace in place.


    1. FoodBio Network Post author

      Report the matter to your municipal health services (MHS), it deals with most environmental health services and according to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, they are part of a basket of services provided by local authorities.
      Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa entrenches the right of all citizens to live in an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being. Section 83 of the National Health Act, 2003 (Act 61 of 2003), defines municipal health services and clearly stipulates the responsibilities of municipalities in the performance of such services.


    2. FoodBio Network Post author

      Hi Tanya,
      You can report the perpetrators to your local municipality. The municipality will health and safety inspector to audit the place and verify compliance. This is a serious health issue.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s