Allegations that a staff member at Food Lovers Market in Jabulani Mall, Soweto, tested positive for the coronavirus are not true, the store said.
At the weekend, the store had business disruptions when rumours about the alleged positive test started circulating among shoppers.
On Monday, in a statement which Food Lovers Market shared on its Twitter page, it clarified that no staff member had tested positive for the virus and added that one employee had been on sick leave from 16 to 30 April.
“We understand that this was for influenza. She was not tested for Covid-19 as she did not show any symptoms,” the franchise said.
It said, according to the store owner, that other staff members were uneasy when the employee, who had been on sick leave, returned. It resulted in members of the EFF intervening.
“On Saturday, 2 May, 2020, an agreement was reached that the staff member in question would be tested and that the Gauteng Department of Health would be involved.
“Despite this agreement, the EFF returned to the store yesterday (Sunday), disrupting trading and publicly demanding that the store be closed. The store owners had no choice but to suspend trading for the day,” the statement read.
The store could also not operate on Monday after community members refused to allow shoppers into the store, IOL reported.
The members reportedly claimed the employee had been in quarantine.
The staff member in question has since been subjected to a Covid-19 test by the health department and the franchise is waiting on the results.
It said, should the employee test positive, all protocols would be followed as directed by its head office.
But, in the meantime, the store intends to reopen and trade as normal.
“The EFF are urged to cease their agitation and intimidation as this is both disruptive and unsettling to the staff and the customers alike. We also call upon the South African Police Service to ensure that there is no disruption by any party to normal trade.”