While South Africa’s lockdown regulations have just been amended to prohibit the sale of ‘hot food’, fast food chain McDonald’s is reported to be negotiating with government to resume parts of their operations.

However, it will not be able to sell the foodstuffs it produces, and will instead donate it to NGOs. They would then make it available to the ‘poor and vulnerable’, as a food donation by the company.

High standards of infection control would be exercised in those branches that would be part of this initiative.

Restaurants and fast food outlets have not been permitted to operate since the country’s lockdown began. The recent ban on the sale of prepared food in supermarkets has generated controversy, as it seems to offer no advantage in the fight against the pandemic – and could place an additional burden on essential workers who might value the convenience of these products. It is unclear if frozen prepared foods will also be banned.

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