Physical distancing not adhered to by some

Grant recipients queue up and shop, while SPAR puts up screens

DANGEROUSLY CLOSE: Shoppers line up in a long queue outside Pick n Pay during the relaxed SASSA grant collection week in King William’s Town Picture: AMANDA NANO

Snaking queues, masks, gloves and some nonadherence to social distancing were some of the scenes in King William’s Town recently as many grant recipients shopped despite the national lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown on March 23, with some of the emergency regulations being relaxed to accommodate SA Social Security grant recipients between March 30 and April 3.

Nick’s Daily SPAR manager Marco Teixiera said they had tried their best to protect and keep customers satisfied.

“The grant week did create a bottleneck. It was difficult to keep the social distance and rather frustrating from all sides,” Teixiera said.

The store has put up five perspex screens at tills to limit the risk of infection.

One customer, who wished to remain anonymous, supported government’s decision to impose a lockdown.

“What will be a worry for us is if the infection rate continues to rise, which may cause an extension to the lockdown. If that happens, some businesses won’t survive,” he said.

At Stone Towers, dozens queued up without regard for social distancing. Phakamisa resident Richard Mbesi said not enough information had been provided about the pandemic.

With regards to renewal of motor vehicle licences, BCM traffic and law enforcement chief commander Quinton Chetty said: “In terms of the National Road Traffic Management Act it states that expired motor vehicle, drivers and learners licences and permits have been provided for usage during the lockdown period, and a grace period will also be afforded afterwards.”

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