Ecommerce sector requests government to allow home deliveries of non-essential goods
DURBAN - South African logistics and eCommerce businesses have written an open letter to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel requesting that home delivery of non-essential goods to be allowed during the lockdown.
This request, driven by uAfrica’s Andy Higgins, stems from the heavy trade and transport restrictions put in place during the National Lockdown brought about by the global Covid-19 crisis.
The letter addresses the ban on the sale and home delivery of non-essential goods via eCommerce and calls for the lifting of this ban, in order to assist South Africans during the lockdown period, as well as support many small businesses that are now on the brink of collapse. The letter also advocates that this endeavour would add great value to society and adds a minimal risk of spreading the virus as eCommerce allows for the sale of goods without social interaction, and the logistics industry has already adopted the necessary preventive measures to avoid the transmission of Covid-19 with the home delivery of essential goods.
"We would argue that allowing all goods - including those deemed to be non-essential - to be transported domestically by professional courier companies, will allow many businesses to continue to operate and provide a valuable service to society while not adding undue risk to the further spread of the virus," the letter states. Furthermore, many drivers stand to lose their jobs if they are not able to fulfil enough daily shipments provided by essential goods alone.
At this point in time, close to 4000 companies have signed the letter. Many desperate pleas and comments have also been received in support of the motion; many businesses will need to retrench employees, most do not have any form of income, and others may need to shut down completely. Some comments read,
"Our factory staff and fulfilment staff (>10 people) stand to lose their jobs if we can not open soon" and "Many small businesses will be saved from closing if we are allowed to continue trading via eCommerce and send out our products with couriers".
The hope is that South Africans can be spared any further economic setbacks and the simple transport and home delivery of all goods can not only help keep the South African economy afloat but can also limit additional financial hardships for many companies and people.
"We can play a vital part in not only preventing the spread of the virus but ensuring the well-being of South Africans - please allow us to do this".
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