With the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, the health and safety of our tenants, employees and customers, is our top priority. While the situation is understandably concerning and confusing, with new information unfolding day by day, it has become clear that this pandemic requires a unified response and each one of us plays a vital role. Together, we can do it.
We are taking Government’s call for all operators of shopping centres to ensure good hygiene measures extremely seriously, and we have taken immediate action to intensify our efforts and practice the highest hygiene standards.
The Kalahari Group team is working hard on contingency plans and strategies so we can support our tenants’ trading. We would like to assure you of the precautions we have put in place, and encourage you to take action too.
We have adopted agility measures, with our co-owners and partners, to act as quickly as possible to manage the challenges that our tenants are facing, respond to official advice and updates, and make necessary operational changes at our buildings.
Our precautions are informed by the guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and other local authorities, and we are also doing our bit to educate and encourage the public at our buildings about the best hygiene practices.
The cleaning regime in our centres’ common and back-of-house areas is being intensified in frequency and intensity. Extra attention is being given to high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas using the prescribed alcohol-based cleaning agents and enhanced methods of disinfecting.
We are also in the process of procuring hand sanitisers for extra sanitation stations in our centres to support the practice of personal hygiene.
Training cleaning, security, management and marketing staff in personal hygiene protocols is underway by the relevant service providers, so that they can be champions of good hygiene practices. Staff are also being taught how to do their jobs in a way that minimises close personal contact for the peace of mind of customers and to combat the spread of the virus.
However, we cannot do this alone. We ask that you have your contingency plans in place and protect your staff and customers against the transmission of the virus by providing them with the necessary protective measures and encouraging healthy habits.
These healthy habits include:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Don’t shake hands or make other physical contact when greeting.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your flexed elbow. You can also cover them with a tissue, but you should throw it away in a proper bin immediately.
- If you feel sick, stay home and seek medical attention.
- Stay aware of the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak. (The latest news, information, communication resources and advice on preventive measures can be found on the WHO website at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 and the NICD website at http://www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/covid-19/)
We know that this situation is uncertain and unfolding, and while it can feel overwhelming at times, we encourage you to remain calm. We will immediately communicate any relevant changes to you as they are confirmed, and ask that you contact us with your updates, concerns or queries.
Eddy Phaswana – MD