During the craziness of month-end, shoppers should expect the town to be busy but, one would think that due to the unwelcome Covid-19 outbreak, there would at least be more control concerning certain situations.
On Saturday, 27 June Shoprite, Pick n Pay Church Street and Superspar were visited and it was noticed by a reporter of the Excelsior News that some of these stores are completely ignoring the important regulations that have to be adhered to, to keep their customers and employees safe.
In one particular instance, the security guard at the door of one of the stores failed to sanitise the hands of everyone who were entering to do their shopping or receive their grants. There was also no control regarding the number of people who were being allowed into the store which meant that it was impossible to maintain the mandatory 1.5 m social distancing between customers. Some people were wearing their masks around their necks and none of the employees seemed to be bothered to tell them to put their masks on properly.
At the till points, the customers and employees were completely ignoring the social distancing stickers on the floor and it was so crowded that people were breathing into each other’s necks.
After talking to the manager of the store, it was confirmed that only a certain amount of people were allowed in the store and it was stated that something would be done to rectify the situation immediately. Unfortunately, nothing was done and people kept streaming in by the dozens.
At one of the other shops, the situation was very different. Customers were required to wait in a neat line outside of the store while maintaining the correct distance from one another. Before entering, each person had their temperature taken and all hands were properly sanitised, the store was not overcrowded with customers and all of the employees were wearing their masks in the correct manner.
With the Covid-19 cases in Mkhondo that escalated at an alarming rate over the last week, it is of the utmost importance that shop owners and managers be extra careful and vigilant about how business is conducted. The regulations that were set by the government are not only there for the safety of the customers, but also for the employees.
An employee of one of the stores stated that they had brought the situation to the attention of the management many times and asked them to please bring some changes about but, management has ignored the request and to the employee, it seems that they only care about the profits.
During the first weeks of the lockdown, members of the SAPS, SANDF and health care workers were very vigilant in ensuring that all of the regulations were adhered to by the stores in town. It seems that they have stopped doing that completely and although they are visible in the busy parts of town, they are currently not doing anything to motivate the residents of Mkhondo to wear their masks and practice social distancing. They are also apparently not making sure that the stores follow the correct protocols. We urge the officials of Mkhondo to please not only be visible but also be firm with the community about following the rules.
Some officials have also been spotted wearing their masks around their necks when they are walking around town or standing close to each other. When you wear a uniform, people look up to you. Set a good example.
Please think about the consequences of your actions. You could be the one who causes many more people to be infected and possibly die. Do you really want that on your conscience?
If you want to report any store that is not adhering to the regulations, please contact the Mkhondo SAPS on 017 824 2608.