Pick n Pay is working to ensure that parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal that have been impacted by violence over the last week will still be able to access needed supplies, says group chief executive Pieter Boone.
In common with other retailers, some Pick n Pay and Boxer stores have been affected by the damage and disorder in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, Boone said.
Boone said that the group is also aware that many people in many areas – particularly in KwaZulu-Natal – are suffering from the damage to essential infrastructure, and are finding it difficult to obtain essential food and groceries.
“The situation remains fragile. But we want to assure customers and communities that our Pick n Pay and Boxer teams are working flat out to bring essential supplies from Gauteng and the Western Cape into the affected areas,” he said.
“Key to this is N3 highway between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, which has just reopened. This enables us to begin the task of transporting large volumes of essential products to the communities that most need them.”
As the situation has eased, Boone said the group has already reopened many stores in KwaZulu-Natal and the affected parts of Gauteng.
“We plan to reopen even more in the coming days. As we do this, the safety of our colleagues and customers remains our first priority. Our message to the affected communities is this: the relief effort has begun. The relief is coming.
“We want to reassure customers in the rest of South Africa that the manufacturing and distribution capacity to supply your needs remains in place.”
Boone said that Pick n Pay was in constant dialogue with suppliers of fresh meat and produce, frozen, canned and packaged foods, and groceries.
“Some have been damaged and disrupted by the violence. But, like us, they are getting back on their feet. Together we will do what we do best – supply our customers with what you need and want.”
Boone said that the group has seen some elevated demand for some products in recent days, but it is nowhere near the levels seen at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We thank all our customers for shopping normally at this critical time. This is the best way you can help us to maintain a steady supply of what you need.
“South Africa is bloodied but not bowed. By working together we will get through this.”