Agri SA has added weight on the calls on South Africans to desist from panic buying amid the scourge of coronavirus.
This comes as complaints are growing about consumers who bought food and essentials, including sanitisers and tissues, in bulk and depleted them in several retail stores as they prepared themselves for the worst in the spread of Covid-19, which has seen calls by the government for people to consider self-isolation and staying at home where it was possible in a bid to contain the spread.
AgriSA deputy executive director Christo van der Rheede said there was no need for panic buying as the agricultural sector was working with retailers to ensure that there was an adequate supply of food during the crisis.
“The agricultural sector is, therefore, working with the government to prioritize and guarantee the supply of fresh and essential agricultural products. The value chains that supply the products daily have the necessary precautions in place to protect workers and to keep supplies moving. In case of further restrictions, harvesting, processing, distribution, delivery, and sale of agricultural products and groceries will be exempted from this,” Van der Rheede said.
“Rest assured that the agricultural sector will continue to feed our country amid this crisis. Together we will overcome this,” he added.
In his weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa hailed large retailers who have issued directives restricting the purchase quantities of in-demand items as part of curtailing panic buying.
“This measure was a laudable effort to protect the rights of ordinary South Africans, but most especially the poor. It is also a welcome sign that South African business will not engage in unscrupulous profiteering from a national disaster,” Ramaphosa said.