In an unprecedented act of kindness by shopping centre landlords, NAD’s decision to provide free loaves of bread to multitudes of vulnerable and frail SASSA shoppers at Dwarsloop Mall, in Mpumalanga comes amid South African government’s call for help from the private sector.
This despite of the ongoing battle with the non-payment of rent due to majority of retail tenants not trading during the lockdown period.
“As we face the coronavirus pandemic head-on, we want to make sure we provide support and resources to those who need it the most,” said NAD CEO Japie van Niekerk.
“We are doing this despite the fact that we are not receiving full rentals, even more disappointingly so from the South African national fashion retailers, while still keeping our doors open for trade and maintaining the highest standard of operations, cleaning and hygiene during this time.”
COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has brought additional strain to an already struggling South African economy.
It’s during devastating times like this that the importance of bringing relief to the poor and previously undeveloped areas is of uttermost importance.
Likewise, NDA’s compassionate gesture will go a long way in bringing relief to nearly 200 000 shoppers Dwarsloop Mall services, while it serves as a symbol solidarity with the South African government in its efforts to keep its people save and healthy.
Intensified safety measures for all shoppers
In light of recent chaotic scenes which saw some elderly faiting after waiting in long queues to collect their grants at major retailers, NAD has intensified efforts to make SASSA payouts less strenuous for them.
To ensure effective social distancing within the food court seating area, chairs have been placed more than 6 feet (2m) apart so no one has to stand while waiting for access to grocery stores.
The chairs are disinfected after every shopper, with complimentary hand sanitizer available at all entrances.
“As a community mall we feel this is a small gesture but means so much to these cherished members of society,” the centre’s asset manager Rochelle van Niekerk added.