Amidst criticism by some political parties that the large supermarkets who, in this time of crisis are staying open and as a result are the only ones profiting from the situation, the Shoprite Group, the largest private employer in South Africa, has announced a once-off R102 million appreciation bonus for its shop floor and distribution centre employees to thank and support them for their tireless efforts to feed the nation in these unprecedented times.
This follows President Ramaphosa’s call on larger businesses in particular to take care of their workers during this period and to marshal every resource and their every energy to fight this epidemic.
Shoprite said in a statement, “Supermarket employees are at the forefront of serving and safeguarding customers by implementing the Group’s strict hygiene measures while distribution centre employees are key players in the retail supply chain to restock stores as quickly as possible.”
“Our employees are crucial players in the task ahead and the Group wants to thank and reward them for their tireless efforts to stock our shelves with food and other essentials for our 29 million shoppers,” said Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of the Shoprite Group.
“They will be paid the appreciation bonus next Thursday, 2 April 2020. This is one of the many measures we have initiated to support our most vital teams including the supply of free hand sanitizer and expanded leave guidelines to cater for those impacted. In addition to this announcement may I once again urge customers to shop responsibly.”
Current gaps on supermarket shelves will be filled as our warehouses remain well stocked and new stock is arriving regularly. We have also increased orders and are sourcing new and additional suppliers.
We are doing everything in our power to ensure our doors will remain open, our stores remain safe and our prices remain low,” he concluded.
In addition, the Shoprite Group has also announced an initial donation of R1 million for the Solidarity Fund in aid of South Africa\s response to Covid-19 and to assist the most vulnerable during this crisis. The group has also pledged to grow this amount daily with the support of the public via its Act for Change Fund facility where customers are welcome to add a contribution to their purchases at the till points in any Shoprite or Checkers supermarket nationwide.
“South Africans are a formidable force for good when we are united” said Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of the Group. “To overcome the greatest challenge of our time, we need to pull together more than ever before. Our government has established the Solidarity Fund and we must play our part to ensure there are enough financial resources to stop this virus.”