Grocery and food delivery services like the Checkers Sixty60 app, Pick n Pay’s Bottles and Woolies Dash carried many isolated South Africans through 2020 and 2021 lockdowns. Checkers, particularly, ramped up coverage for its app in a year’s time, making food and household items extremely accessible and delivered to your house in an hour’s time.
Now, many of these on-demand services are facing increased pressure and are struggling to keep up with the demand in Gauteng.
Food not ordered-to-go
Recent events in two of South Africa’s major metropolitan areas (Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal), have impacted direct access to some essential food and house supply items.
While grocery stores, shopping centres and malls have been plundered in certain areas, mainly centred around Natal, South Africans in both affected provinces have resorted to panic-buying in an effort to stock up if a food supply shortage occurs in the future.
Grocery stores across Gauteng saw panic buyers flock to their stores from Tuesday 13 July which has, in itself, caused major panic. Select stores in the province had empty shelves come Wednesday 14 July, which meant delivery services were also hit by the panic. They all get products from the same shelves, after all.
When trying to place an order in Randburg on Wednesday afternoon, one Stuff journalist was met with a message detailing delays in orders. Suddenly, the lightning-fast Checkers Sixty60 1-hour delivery promise has been extended to ‘book a slot for tomorrow’.
“Well before lunchtime on Wednesday, Sixty60 displayed a “currently closed” message for multiple addresses checked in the broader Johannesburg area,” MoneyWeb reports on the same matter.
“In areas affected by unrest and looting (and those nearby), the service displays a message saying it is “temporarily closed”. In a message to some customers, Checkers said: “Johannesburg stores have reached capacity and orders will only be delivered tomorrow’.”
Other delivery apps are also experiencing delays in orders that span over the next few days. What does this mean? If you currently rely on delivery services for essentials and food, you may have to wait a few days to get your hands on stuff.