A mug for your maid? Outrage at Pick n Pay crockery

Pick n Pay said on Monday it had removed the mugs.
Pick n Pay said on Monday it had removed the mugs.
Image: Bongi Mogale via Twitter

The only mugs that are missing are ones for the madam and the sir.

That was what Bongi Mogale tweeted after it emerged that a Pick n Pay store had stocked cups labelled “gardener” and “maid”.

Toni Philander tweeted a photograph of the mugs on Monday after she visited the branch at St. Peter’s Square in Observatory‚ Cape Town.

“My first instinct was to just casually drop it on the floor and break them‚ because‚ I mean‚ really?! My issue was why are these for sale in South Africa in a supermarket store?” Philander told TimesLIVE.

She left her contact details with customer care but after receiving no feedback‚ she tweeted the photo.

“I find it concerning because I just think there is someone who is not thinking.”

Philander said there were also chef mugs alongside the gardener and maid ones.

Pick n Pay said on Monday it had removed the mugs.

“This is completely unacceptable. We have contacted the store and the mugs are being removed immediately.”

“We can confirm that these mugs have been removed from the store‚ and are not stocked in any other Pick n Pay stores. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.”

Pick n Pay spokesperson Janine Caradonna said: “These products were being sold by one of our franchisees. We asked him to remove it from sale immediately‚ which he has done.”

Franchisee stores are not owned by Pick n Pay and are able to stock certain unique lines.

An American asked on Twitter what the fuss was about.

Jamil Khan responded: “In South Africa‚ domestic labour has a long history of dehumanization and racism attached to it. One method was and still is to deny helpers use of household crockery and cutlery as they were considered unworthy and unhygienic. This labelling encourages that idea.” 

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