Retail worker… Forgotten Front liners

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Keith Mlauzi

When the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be moving to lockdown alert level 4 with effect from Monday, he also announced on who was next in line to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Among those next in line to get vaccinated against Covid-19 are miners teachers and police officers, but the most forgotten front liners are retail workers… What about them?

Retail worker are as much important as any other front line workers as they interact with thousands of people on a daily basis. The many questions everyone has is what happens to those in the private sector? Retail workers included.

The shoprite Group is one company that decided to step up and request for vaccinations for its more than 140 000 employee.

Shoprite group being the largest private sector employer in the country serves over 25 million people a month.

In a later to government Shoprite Group CEO, Pieter Engelbrecht said, “Our frontline workers, including cashiers, merchandisers and line management retail workers, have been at work every day since the onset of the pandemic, working tirelessly to ensure we provide food, essential groceries and medicine to the nation.

“Our people interact with 25 million customers coming into our stores every month, and it is critical that they be vaccinated.”

It is in this light that it is important to get workers in the retail industry to get vaccinate first and be prioritized in the dishing out of the precious vaccine.

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