Taking a step backward in time to take a step forward in the fight against Covid-19, a Soweto company is deploying a fleet of bicycles to deliver groceries to people so they do not have to stand in queues at shops.
The Heroes Delivery Service (HDS) will use 26 donated branded bicycles. HDS founder Mphuthi Mphuthi said customers could place their orders via WhatsApp and a message would then be sent to HDS employees, who would be in the stores ready to start shopping. The products would then be packed and could either be collected by the person who placed the order, or by one of the HDS “heroes” on a branded bicycle, who would deliver the shopping straight to the customer’s home.
Tendani Dlamini, one of the youngsters who will be delivering for HDS, said he was looking forward to shopping and delivering for the community. He said this was a good way to keep him busy rather than being in the streets up to mischief.
“I am a student and since the lockdown we have not been able to return to campus. I have a lot more free time than before and HDS will be helping me use that time wisely,” said Dlamini.
“The money I will be earning from my deliveries I will save up and use later for something valuable when needed.”
Mphuthi said the initiative could not have come at a better time, “with less people wanting to leave their homes”. He said: “Now, we have a solution to help keep residents from having to go into a store, and for helping those who are most vulnerable during this time.”
Depending on the size of the orders, the cost of having an order shopped for with the customer collecting will start from as little as R5. If delivered, the cost will start from R10. No alcohol will be bought and delivered. All cyclists will wear masks and be equipped with a sanitiser.
“The next step is to have cashless transactions. We are in talks with a bank on how we can make this happen,” Mphuthi said.
AMKA Products donated the branded bicycles. The company’s general manager, Karen Kruger, said the service would help customers as well as retailers. She said many retailers had been hit hard during pandemic, as fewer people left their homes and most relied on other means to get their groceries.