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Shoppers should change behaviour

Following the first week of trying to do business as usual in unusual times after a state of disaster was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 15 March, André van Rensburg, the owner of SuperSpar Kuils River, posted his “observations at work” on Facebook in the hope of changing people’s shopping behaviour.

Although Van Rensburg says (in his post on Saturday 21 March) they have seen a 300% increase of sales of sanitizer and hygiene products it seems many people are not taking the virus threat seriously. “Social distancing is a non-event and that is a big concern. (We) had a family with face masks on in store, but when they saw acquaintances took it off for a hug and a kiss.”

On the demand from customers who want cashiers to wear gloves and masks, Van Rensburg said viruses survive on plastic and latex.

“If cashiers wear gloves they can’t sanitize their hands, which they all have at till points.

“Masks –the prescribed ones, which you can’t find anywhere– only helps if the cashier coughs or sneezes. In such a case the cashier will be removed immediately.”

He shared the following guidelines:

. Come alone and leave family at home.

. Use a credit or debit card instead of cash and process your own transaction on the pin pad.

. Don’t touch items you’re not going to buy.

. Customers are welcome to wear gloves or masks.

. Don’t socialise in store.

. Bag your own groceries.

. Keep your 1m distance.

. Use trolley wipes sparingly as supply is a problem.

. Don’t panic buy as others might need a product as well.

People should remember retail workers are in the firing line of the virus when dealing with the public, said Van Rensburg. “Be nice to them.”

Supermarkets are among the businesses that will remain open during the nationwide lockdown announced by Ramaphosa on Monday evening.

In his speech the president said ‘‘regulations have been put in place to prohibit unjustified price hikes, to ensure shops maintain adequate stocks of basic goods and to prevent panic buying. It is important for all South Africans to understand that the supply of goods remains continuous and supply chains remain intact.”

He ended off with a call on everyone to act in the interest of the nation and not in their own selfish interest.

“I call on all of us, one and all, to play our part. To be courageous, to be patient, and above all, to show compassion.”

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