South Africa: Exercise Caution On Black Friday As Covid-19 Cases Peak

24 November 2020

The Western Cape government is calling on retailers to maintain the COVID-19 protocols as shoppers are expected to flock stores to grab Black Friday bargains.

"We know that this has been a tough year for consumers and retailers alike, and these sales provide welcome savings and trade.

"In previous years, we have seen many people gathering at retail stores and malls, with large queues and crowds forming," said Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.

However, this year, the province is urging people to remember that the country is still in the midst of a pandemic, and calling on extreme caution to avoid Black Friday from becoming a super spreader event.

This comes as the Western Cape number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations are increasing in the province.

"We must all play our part in reversing this trend by following COVID-19 safety advice," Winde added.

South Africa recorded 2 080 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, which pushes the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 769 759.

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has since expressed his concern about the country recorded a positivity rate of 14%.

The Eastern Cape active cases have jumped to 11 099, followed by Free State 7 659 and the Western Cape 7 731.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has held a meeting with retailers and the property groups managing major shopping centres to stress the importance of having the correct safety measures in place.

"I would also like to personally appeal to retailers to do the right thing, and to ensure that measures are in place to limit the risk of COVID-19 infection," said Winde.

"This includes queue and crowd management, access control, and ensuring hand sanitisers are widely available and that masks are worn, correctly, and at all times by both staff and by customers."

The province is also pleading with retailers to consider expanding the duration of sales, or their trading hours to better manage crowds.

"My message to shoppers is to try and shop online as much as is possible. If this is not possible, ensure your safety and the safety of those around you by wearing your mask and practising social distancing."

Winde is also asking shoppers to regularly wash or sanitise their hands.

"If you do not feel well, do not go to the shops," he stressed.

The Western Cape is pleading with everyone to remember to avoid the three Cs, close contact, crowded spaces and confined spaces.

"No saving is worth the cost of your health, or the life of someone who may be in a risk group."

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