South Africans are scrambling to prepare for a 21-day lockdown which begins in earnest on Friday 27th March.
The lockdown will see many businesses closed and only certain essential businesses will remain open.
Those specific business include ones involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods, essential banking services, water services, telecommunications services, laboratory services and a few others we outlined here.
Since yesterday local firms have been informing South Africans whether they would be closing for the lockdown. Technology supplier Evetech will be closing its doors, as will the likes of Rebeltech and other tech stores.
Takealot however appears to be planning to remain open following a statement on its Facebook page.
“The safety of employees, customers and partners remains our top priority as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We do not as yet have a clear indication of what the effects are on our business post Thursday. We believe that we can play an important part in the lives of South African’s during this time, supplying essential goods to your doors in a manner that is safe and secure and we trust that the authorities will agree with us,” wrote the online retailer.
So here’s the thing about Takealot we didn’t realise until very recently – it sells groceries.
Whether this would allow Takealot to continue selling goods is unclear.
While it is true that Takealot could be classified as a supermarket due to the fact it sells groceries.
Reactions to the statement have been mixed. Some folks welcome the news that Takealot is making efforts to remain open during the lockdown. However, many more have criticised Takealot for valuing profits over the potential human cost of remaining open and sending delivery persons out into the world.
We will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they are released.