WATCH | Debonairs takes action after Joburg customer films staff making pizza without wearing masks

  • Debonairs Pizza in the Tsakane Mall, east of Johannesburg, closed its doors after video footage showed staff working without masks.
  • Staff were issued with verbal warnings for their conduct.
  • They also had to repeat training in risk mitigation measures before the store could be reopen.

Debonairs Pizza issued verbal warnings to staff at the Tsakane Mall branch, east of Johannesburg, who were recorded by a customer not wearing masks while working.

They were also made to repeat training in Covid-19 risk mitigation measures.

In the video footage taken early last month, a woman can be heard expressing her concern about the staff's flippant attitude to the matter.

Christopher Wingrove, Operations Executive, Debonairs Pizza, explained that four team members working in the food preparation area were issued with a verbal warning, along with the manager on duty at the time who was issued with a written warning.

The restaurant was opened at the day after the incident was captured on video, once refresher training had taken place and all the necessary PPE was confirmed to be in place.

Debonairs pizza said it responded immediately to the incident, closing the shop on the same evening.

READ | Covid-19: 500 infections in SA every hour, says Dlamini-Zuma

"Our greatest priority is the health and safety of our team members and customers," Wingrove said. 

Debonairs Pizza emphasised that since the pandemic hit South African shores, it has taken extra precautions in accordance with the government's health and safety regulations gazetted during the lockdown. 

Measures

"Prior to reopening of our restaurants, Debonairs Pizza implemented a number of hygiene measures in addition to our existing strict requirements in order to ensure that our standard operating procedures complied with the National Department of Health's Covid-19 risk mitigation measures. 

"These measures included the requirement that all team members are provided with cloth masks and that the wearing of these masks is mandatory at all times in our restaurants," said Wingrove. 

The wearing of face masks in the country is no longer negotiable, following an address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday. 

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola on Monday said that the government had been reluctant to criminalise the non-compliance of wearing masks, but had been left with no choice due to people's irresponsible behaviour.

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