Kouga Municipality has issued special permits to all spaza shops that may continue trading during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“The operating hours for the spaza shops have also been adjusted to help prevent large numbers of shoppers at the same time,” said Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson.
He said spaza shops were now allowed to trade from 7am to 6pm, seven days a week, instead of just for a few hours in the morning and evening as was the initial lockdown arrangement.
“Initially, the trading hours of spaza shops were aligned to that of the taxis, but this caused a greater congestion of commuters and shoppers, thus making it difficult for people to maintain public distancing.”
He said only those spaza shops that were already licensed prior to lockdown had received special permits and would be allowed to trade.
” No new applications were considered.
“The municipality’s Environmental Health section visited all existing licensed spaza shops and issued them with special permits to trade during lockdown.”
He said the same applied to informal traders.
“Only those who were already licensed to sell fruit and vegetables before the lockdown have received special permits to continue trading. Unfortunately, no new permits can be issued at this time.”
He urged residents to adhere to hygiene and physical distancing guidelines should they need to go shopping for essentials.
He further reminded public transport operators that their hours of operations were still restricted as follows during the lockdown period:
* 04:00-05:00: Empty taxis permitted to make their way to collect commuters.
* 05:00-10:00: Taxis allowed to ferry commuters at 70% licensed capacity.
* 10:00-11:00: Buffer period. All remaining commuters must be dropped off and taxis parked.
* 15:00-16:00: Empty taxis permitted to make their way to collect commuters.
* 16:00-20:00: Taxis allowed to ferry commuters at 70% licensed capacity.
* 20:00-21:00: Buffer period. All remaining commuters must be dropped off and taxis parked.