As was expected, very few residents heeded the call of authorities not to flock to shopping malls on Sassa payout day.
At Twin City Mall in Heidedal, Bloemfontein, thousands of people have been gathering at the main gate since very early this morning. To avoid congestion inside, people were let in in small numbers throughout the morning.
Inside the mall things went much more orderly, mainly because of the presence of the Covid-19 Prevention Team, a group of volunteers under the leadership of community leader Logan Kruger.
Kruger told Bloemfontein Courant, although the team has experienced a couple of hitches with the large influx of people this morning, they have managed to restore order inside the mall with the help of the Station Commander of the Heidedal Police Station, Colonel Itumeleng Pule.
“Social distancing inside the mall is much better today, compared to the first day of the lockdown. The volunteers work well together, and I am convinced that it will go much better tomorrow.
“We would, however, like to plead to young people in the community to avoid the mall during the next three days to ease the congestion. They can still do their shopping later in the week. Let’s give preference to the elderly. Too many people at the mall creates chaos,” said Kruger.
An elderly resident Heidedal who visited Twin City to pick up her social grant, Corrie van der Merwe, said she was very happy with the way they were treated by the volunteer. “I am very grateful for the way that we have been treated by the volunteers today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” said Van der Merwe.
Romario Smith, one of the volunteers, said the reason why he is helping out today is because he is very concerned about the safety of the elderly people.
“The mall is very full and people are very impatient. They are pushing and shoving to get inside. As a young person I do this not only for my community but also for my country. This virus is spreading like wildfire and we must all do our bit to keep each other safe,” said Smith.