#CoronavirusSA: Lockdown legality – 4 May 2020

It seems that much of lockdown level 4 in South Africa will be fought out in the courts, as some of the regulations will be challenged, such as the ban on the sale of cigarettes.

It seems that much of lockdown level 4 in South Africa will be fought out in the courts, as some of the regulations will be challenged, such as the ban on the sale of cigarettes; while food service outlets get to launch their takeaway offerings, bringing some relief to customers craving fast food as opposed to their own cooking. Retailing Africa launched its COVID-19 news tracker for the retailing eco-system in South Africa and Africa mid-March; and will be continuing to update our readers with relevant news for our brands and retailers each week of this pandemic.


Tobacco producers head to court

Government is not budging on the sale of cigarettes under Level 4 lockdown and both minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu and justice minister Ronald Lamola have both said over the long weekend that this is not even a matter for mediation, but will face down the tobacco producers in court should they proceed with threatened legal action. Last week British American Tobacco (BAT) gave Government until 10am this morning, Monday May 4, to reverse the ban on the sale of tobacco products under Lockdown 4, or they would bring court action to have the ban overturned.

Consumer sentiment turned ugly last week after President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced that cigarette products would be for sale under Level 4 of lockdown; which was then contradicted by co-operative governance minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last week, when announcing final regulations for Level 4. Lockdown sales of illicit cigarette are reported to be costing South Africa R36 million in lost revenue per day; and it has been pointed out by economists that SARS is losing billions due to the ban on tobacco and alcohol sales.

Burger King delivers, Nando’s remains under lockdown

Burger King has announced that it will be opening select restaurants around the country to deliver its full menu locally as of Wednesday, May 6, 2020. This service will be launched in partnership with Mr D Food and Uber Eats. Ezelna Jones, group marketing executive at Burger King, says 33 Burger King restaurants in urban areas are offering delivery services between the hours of 9am and 7pm. “In line with global hygiene best practice, we will be ensuring that all managers on duty conduct regular wellness checks, including temperature taking for each team member before every shift. To ensure good personal hygiene habits, all Burger King team members are now required to wash hands every 30 minutes at a minimum, as per coronavirus (COVID-19) spread prevention guidelines.” Additional safeguards, such as all Burger King restaurant managers using a unique COVID-19 Prevention Checklist and implementing associated contactless processes to ensure all team members continue to adhere to the new procedures, have also been introduced, explains Jones. “Unfortunately, due to the poor financial viability of only offering a home delivery service, coupled with the 8pm (Level 4) curfew, only a few Burger King restaurants will be open for deliveries at this time,” notes Jones, who says that the list of select restaurants available to offer home deliveries can be viewed on the company’s website and social media platforms.

It is for this reason that popular restaurant franchises like Nando’s and Spur will not reopen under Lockdown Level 4. Both said it did not make economic sense to reopen when drive-thru were closed for fast food collection; and while delivery only was an option under a strict curfew. Nando’s is only opening a small number of stores to enable their kitchens to serve food in disadvantaged communities.

Droppa Express launches

Droppa, the digital platform that provides transport delivery solutions, has expanded its service offering with the launch of ‘Droppa Express’ which offers express delivery for light-weight items within a 25km radius in just 24 hours. The express service which caters for the delivery of goods such as food, parcels, books, stationery and other smaller items under 25kg, is available in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – at an affordable rate. Delivery bookings can be made through the company website or Droppa app which is available as a free download on Android and IOS platforms. “Droppa is continuously looking to enhance current service offerings or to introduce new ones that meet the requirements of our customer base across South Africa’s four major cities,” says Khathu Mufamadi, Droppa CEO.

Earlier this month, the on-demand e-hailing app also announced that it is shifting the focus of their business model in response to the new COVID-19 lockdown imposed by the government. The company’s original operating model allows patrons and businesses to request a truck/bakkie for all furniture removals and logistics. Droppa now offers its services to businesses rendering essential services such as retail stores, warehouses, fresh produce farms and medical suppliers; and will be made available to members of the public who require essential goods delivered to them. In a similar way to Uber, Droppa does not own trucks but instead has driver-partners that have registered their vehicles.



#CoronavirusSA tracker: Level 4 brings small relief to retail – 30 April 2020.

#CoronavirusSA tracker: Further clarification on essential goods – 20 April 2020.

#CoronavirusSA tracker: Business pushes back – 13 April 2020.

#CoronavirusSA tracker: #Standingtogether – 7 April 2020.

#CoronavirusSA tracker: Shoprite & Pick n Pay win week: Spar’s brand fail – 27 March 2020.

#CoronavirusSA tracker: Fear and loathing in SA – 20 March 2020.


*Curated and edited by Retailing Africa Publisher & Editor, Louise Burgers. Keep the industry updated and send your announcements and news to:


Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.

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