The Western Cape Department of Local Government has called on shoppers to follow COVID-19 safety protocols during Black Friday today.

Local Government Ministry spokesperson James-Brent Styan has urged residents to avoid crowding in small enclosed spaces. He says large gatherings of people where regulations are not followed, will increase the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

“The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre is concerned about the potential impact of the Black Friday sales in the Western Cape. We have seen a massive spike in COVID-19 infections in the past week. We’ve seen an increase of 52.1% in new cases alone. We want to alert people to this reality and we want to urge them, where possible, to avoid large crowds and enclosed spaces. Please stick to COVID-19 protocols.”

Earlier in the week, the Buffalo City Metro urged retailers to be vigilant on Black Friday, amid a rise in COVID-19 infections in the Eastern Cape.

Thousands of consumers are expected to flock to shopping malls to take advantage of discounts.

There are fears that this might lead to potential COVID-19 super spreader events.

Municipal spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya says they are working closely with stakeholders, including management of shopping centres, to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“We call upon businesses to exercise caution, to ensure that staff and customers wear masks and that they must screen everyone and enforce social distancing during the course of the shopping experience this week. It was noted that the upcoming Black Friday shopping day is a possible super-spreader event if it’s not managed properly. We’ll also increase our safety operations on the road to ensure that they are adhering to all the regulations and compliance issues of lockdown level one”

NCR cautions consumers to not overspend on Black Friday

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is cautioning consumers to avoid partaking in this year’s Black Friday, or any other sale, if they did not properly plan or budget for it, saying they should rather save their money for emergencies.

Lebogang Selibi, the supervisor for education and communication at the National Credit Regulator, shares more: