South African retailers Shoprite and SPAR Group have issued statements on the continued unrest in South Africa, with Shoprite stating that it is 'working around the clock' to repair and restock looted and damaged stores, and SPAR confirming that deliveries to affected regions have recommenced (pictured).
Shoprite said that as the authorities begin to restore stability in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng provinces, stores are becoming operational again, and are re-opening for business 'by the hour' while also seeking to ensure the safety of customers and employees.
Shoprite Supply Lines Open
'Supply lines to the majority of stores are currently running smoothly and deliveries to stores in KZN has commenced,' the retailer said.
South Africa has been rocked by several days of unrest – its worst for many years – which were sparked by the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma.
This has also led to stockpiling of essential goods, prompting Shoprite to state that the bulk of its Shoprite, Checkers, Usave and franchise OK Foods supermarkets around the country are 'stocked and operational', and that there is no need to stockpile.
'We appeal to all South Africans to remain calm as our supply chain is now able to supply into most stores again,' it said.
The group also condemned the unrest and lawlessness, which it said affects those seeking to make a positive contribution to the economy and job creation.
'The mayhem and destruction are everyone’s loss, particularly in a country ravaged by a poor economy and joblessness, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic,' it said. 'The riots are only making our challenges, including food security, greater.'
SPAR Group Impacted
Elsewhere, SPAR Group said in a statement that as a result of looting and vandalism, a total of 184 stores, including 62 TOPS liquor stores and 31 Build it stores, have been 'severely' impacted' in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.
The retailer said that it is reopening its stores 'when safe to do so', and re-commenced dispatching trucks to stores on Friday, with deliveries continuing into the weekend.
“This is a sad time for our country," said SPAR Group Ltd CEO, Brett Botten. "The lives of so many people have been severely impacted. We are engaging with various stakeholders to help manage this crisis and we are doing everything we can to alleviate the growing concerns around food shortages.
"We will support our retailers in rebuilding the businesses they have lost and also, the communities they serve."