Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
SOME businesses in Victoria Falls have introduced door-to-door home delivery of basics to customers as a way of boosting sales while adhering to Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
Although mainly grocery shops and essential service providers were allowed to operate during the lockdown period, which started on 30 March, more businesses have been given the greenlight recently under reviewed conditions but still subject to meeting precautions such as social distancing and standard sanitisation.
The generality of citizens are still urged to stay at home and only travel to seek essential goods or services. This has prompted some businesses such as butcheries and fast food outlets to introduce packages where customers can order online and have their goods delivered to their doorsteps free of transport costs.
Enterprising individuals here have also embraced the opportunity and are charging residents up to US$1 to carry and deliver goods from the shops.
Little Monkey is one of the leading fast food outlets that are doing free home delivery. The restaurant operator, for instance, now takes orders between 8AM and 4.30PM on selected days and customers can either pick for themselves or have the order delivered. Ezimnandi Foods, another eatery is also urging customers to place orders online anytime and get free delivery within Victoria Falls. Garfunkels Butchery has also embraced the model and says it can deliver its products home free of charge for a minimum order of US$20.
Dollar Deliveries, which uses a motorbike, has identified the business gap and grabbed the opportunity to offer transport services for only US$1. Ideally one would pay between US$3 and US$5 to hire a metered taxi or vehicle to carry the goods from town to the residential areas in the absence of public transport.
Mr Pholani Sithole, one of Dollar Deliveries proprietors said the new business model was booming.
“The idea was brought about by the need to ensure adherence to lockdown regulations by having residents get services in the comfort of their homes. We needed money after being hit by the Covid-19 induced lockdown and also wanted to afford residents something cheaper than a taxi,” he said.
“This is the best delivery service to get you through coronavirus outbreak. We observe all Covid-19 precautionary measures from pick-up to drop-off.
“There is no need for you to leave the safety of your home. You order and pay for your order directly to the shop, restaurant or pharmacy and our duty is only to pick up and deliver for US$1 per trip for a luggage not exceeding 20kg,” said Mr Sithole.
Doller Deliveries started last month and Mr Sithole said the response from the residents has been good. Some motorists have also self-contracted themselves as courier service providers as they cash in on unavailability of public transport and overnight couriers to carry parcels between towns for a fee. Charges range between US$5 and US$10 for small parcels. Big companies like Vaya Logistics, a subsidiary of
Cassava Smartech, are also providing similar services.