Panic buying: Capetonians flock to stores ahead of national lockdown

Long queues on Tuesday could be seen at Pick n Pay at Waterfront and Shoprite in the city centre.

Customers make their way inside Makro in Cape Town on 24 March 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Amid the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) and a national lockdown looming at midnight on Thursday, many Capetonians flocked to stores across the peninsula on Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening announced a 21-day lockdown from 26 March until midnight on Thursday 16 April to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Customers made their way to two of the country’s biggest retail stores filling baskets and trolleys. Long queues could be seen at Pick n Pay at Waterfront and Shoprite in the city centre.

People bought food items and toilet products.

One shopper, a Shoprite customer, said she was buying essentials and would continue to prep for the lockdown on Wednesday.

“I would say it is important to stock up but as the president said, we’ll still have access to do our shopping during the lockdown and I’m just getting essentials,” she said.

Despite Ramaphosa’s call to not stockpile and panic buy, people were still rushing to the shops and stores.

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