'We have been flooded with calls': government on food delivery services during lockdown
The department of tourism has reiterated its stance on the operation of food delivery services saying on Wednesday that they would not be allowed to operate during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Several food delivery services have informed customers they will still offer a service during the shutdown there appeared to be confusion over whether some would be exempt or not.
“We have been flooded with calls seeking clarity on this and have maintained that all food delivery services will not be permitted to operate and will need to close down as they have not been included on the list of what has been deemed essential services,” the department's spokesperson Hlengiwe Nhlabathi said on Wednesday.
UCook said in a message to customers: “Food delivery services delivering a finished product from restaurants have been suspended. UCook is essentially a grocery delivery product, delivering ingredients before they are cooked at home. We have confirmed with the necessary people in charge so that we can continue safely during this period.”
Daily Dish which delivers dinner boxes and wines also informed customers they would remain open. “Daily Dish is a meal kit delivery service which is seen as an essential service in South Africa during this lockdown period. We expect our growth to continue, and hope we can make a positive difference in people’s lives during this difficult time.”
Raw Nutrition also said they would be operating during the lockdown. “Great news, we will be open and delivering during this time. Orders placed will be delivered the following day.”
Nhlabathi said an official list of essential services that can be rendered during the lockdown would be issued later on Wednesday and was expected to give clarity and clear up any confusion.
Nhlabathi said it would be unfair if some food delivery services were allowed to operate and not others as the idea of a lockdown was to limit the movement of people, the exchange of money and curb the spread of coronavirus.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday the lockdown would exempt health workers, emergency personnel, security services, those involved in the production and distribution of food and basic goods, banking services, the maintenance of power and telecommunication services, laboratory services and provision of medical and hygiene products.