South Africa’s leading pharmacy, health and beauty retailer, Clicks, has released a statement strongly condemning the vandalism and looting of stores at shopping centres and distribution centres across South Africa.

As a result of protest action, the retailer has had to close all 110 of its stores in KwaZulu-Natal and 130 stores in Gauteng, with a total of 279 stores closed and 52 stores damaged so far nationwide. 

106 vaccination sites have also been closed across the country.

Clicks has 760 stores and over 600 in-store pharmacies nationally.

“The disruption of services means affected Clicks stores will be temporarily unable to administer vaccinations and provide medication to customers, along with public sector medicine pick-up points being temporarily unavailable,” the group said.

“Contingency plans are being put in place to provide alternative arrangements for delivery of chronic medication and rescheduling of vaccinations, where possible. We thank customers for their understanding and patience during this very difficult time.”

The cost of the looting and damages to stores is still to be determined given the ongoing unrest.