News24 Wire
Wire Service
3 minute read
1 May 2020
8:41 pm

Soweto shoppers fear return of level 5 as mall patrons disregard regulations

News24 Wire

They are worried about sharing trolleys that are not sanitised, lack of social distancing and some shoppers not wearing masks in malls.

Shoppers queue in long lines at Jabulani Mall, Soweto, on Friday, 1 May 2020. Picture: twitter / @_FentseM

Some Soweto shoppers fear the country could return to a level 5 lockdown if regulations are not adhered to.

They are worried about sharing trolleys that are not sanitised, lack of social distancing and some shoppers not wearing masks in shopping malls.

On Friday, malls in Soweto were packed to the rafters with shoppers grabbing essential items such as food, winter clothes, heaters and other goods, while others paid their accounts.

Some shoppers at Maponya Mall complained about having to queue at almost every shop they went to, over and above queuing to enter the mall itself.

Lebo Tshisebe arrived at the mall at around 09.00am and was denied entry because he was not wearing a mask.

He was forced to leave and buy a new mask.

“My aim was to first buy masks before doing my winter clothes shopping and paying my accounts. I noticed people touching masks without gloves while asking for prices.

“Imagine if one person who touched those masks had coronavirus, what will happen to others who touched them too?

“Inside the mall, I was shocked when I observed that us as customers we are not following regulations. There was no physical distancing and we were queuing very close to each other for a long time,” said Tshisebe.

Too early

He felt that level 4 was implemented too early.

“From what I have seen, we were supposed to be on level 5. I am sure that very soon we are going back to level 5 because we don’t adhere to regulations,” said Tshisebe.

Lebo Nevhutala said she had enjoyed her shopping despite challenges.

“At Pick n Pay, there was order and people were asked to obey social distancing. My only challenge was to wait in long queues and am relieved that I managed to buy everything I need for now,” added Nevhutala.

At Jabulani Mall, Lungile Tladi complained about having to queue in lines at each of the stores he went to.


He spent more than two hours inside the mall.

“It was frustrating because I thought there was not going to be long queues as more stores have been opened. It was totally opposite of what I was thinking on my way here.”

Tladi said he was impressed with the shoppers who complied with the regulations.

Boitumelo Mothapo said she spent more than two hours with her mother inside the mall.


She said they had split errands to save more time.

“Shops that we went to were not full. However, we spent more time in the mall because we had to pay accounts and shop. There was no physical distancing at all and I am worried that it is possible for one to contract the virus at this mall.

“Some trolleys were not sanitised and were exchanged by shoppers. This virus is deadly and we need to always ensure that things that we share like trolleys are always sanitised before and after use,” Mothapo said.

Sifundile Dingezweni spent an hour-and-a-half in the mall and said there was no social distancing in some shops.

“From what I have seen, it would be better if police officers were deployed inside malls to enforce compliance. Again, my concern was people who touched things without gloves and not buy them. Some shoppers only wore masks when they entered the mall and removed them inside,” added Dingezweni.

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