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15 January 2021


A Brits branch of a national grocery franchise shop was forced to close after and its stand-in manager was charged for contravening COVID-19 protocols. It was reported that the substantive manager, yesterday, received positive test results for Coronavirus and went home to quarantine. However, despite having had contact with almost all staff members, especially the two deputy managers, the shop opened today without those close contacts being caused to self-isolate too. Not even decontamination of the manager's office or shop premises was conducted but they continued on 'business as usual' attitude.

The assistant managers on duty was tongue-tied when asked why is the store operational or why is he and the other assistant manager at work, whereas they know and have been confirmed as close contacts of the manager who tested positive.

Brits SAPS who were part of MEC Lehari and Madibeng Local Municipality MMC, Cllr Machete's blitz program, immediately ordered that the well known grocery shop should immediately close as a case will be opened and a fine issued to the stand-in manager. This was to be followed by a decontamination process before the retail store reopens for business, as per Covid-19 guidelines.

Incidentally, MEC Lehari was, today, wrapping up the province-wide multipurpose, multi-stakeholder road safety and law enforcement operations in Brits, Madibeng. The multi-pronged blits included unannounced visitation to local shopping complexes and malls. Though there was a semblance of compliance on first glance, closer inspection found serious violations. Some did not even have a pamphlet advising shoppers to wear masks. Although they had sanitizers, in some shops it was not located at the entrances.

Few meters just across an isle from the said franchise, behind the main Taxi Rank, a small shop was also operating, just like many around, also did not follow basic guidelines. They too were ordered to close and rectify were there were shortcomings.

“One would have thought by now business would be taking a lead in ensuring compliance. It is regrettable that even major franchises are ignoring basic Covid-19 guidelines”, said the exasperated MEC Lehari.
Before the unannounced walk-about visit to the malls, MEC Lehari was at the local taxi rank where him and MMC Machete addressed commuters, taxi operators and hawkers. He was relatively impressed as most taxi rank users complied with Covid-19 safety measures whilst social distancing remained a bit of a challenge.

The eventful day ended with MEC Lehari and Madibeng Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) responsible for Community safety, Councillor Machete, leading the joint law enforcement operation on N4, Majakaneng near Bapong Weighbridge. There was also a roadside spot-check of operating licenses for public transportation and traffic fines.

“We want our people to see us as part of them, not coming out here to punish them, but instead they should see us trying to correct thing and ensure our roads are safe with no room for violation of traffic laws and criminality along our roads. We want motorists to see law enforcement as a positive attempt to ensure their safety rather than as a way to delay or frustrated their journey”, said rhe visibly satisfied MEC Lehari.

The program today was the last of the Festive Season's Road Safety and Law Enforcement Operations that started early in December 2020, taking place across the entire NW province targeting busy roads, national, provincial, district local and hotspots routes.

"Thank you Departmental officials, Sibanye Stillwaters Mine, Bakwena Tollgates, SAPS, Immigration, Department of Health, Municipal and Provincial Traffic for you active participation and collaboration. The operations were quite successful and as we go back to the drawing boards hopefully NW will be counted amongst the provinces that managed to reduce Covid-19 spread and road crashes significantly". MEC Lehari said as he officially dismissed the Festive Season's Operations.


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