'No fast food drive-throughs allowed': Fikile Mbalula

Fikile Mbalula. File photo.
Fikile Mbalula. File photo.
Image: The Times/Esa Alexander

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has dashed any hopes of being able to buy fast food from stores using the “drive-through” option.

Mbalula told MPs on Thursday that opening drive-throughs was not going to be allowed.

He was addressing the joint transport portfolio committee after the announcement earlier of new regulations under stage 4 of the national lockdown by co-operative governance minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The new regulations will allow restaurants to operate but they will be permitted to use food delivery services only.

During the question and answer session at the committee meeting, MP Kenneth Mmoiemang asked Mbalula if the drive-through service for fast food outlets would be opened.

“In terms of the slides in the presentation and even in terms of how it is articulated, the impression that is created is that restaurants like McDonald's and others, will only be accessible through the delivery services.

“What I want to check from the minister ... have they considered the possibility of allowing people to use the drive-through avenue because definitely it runs also in tandem of trying to avoid people from converging in the restaurant,” said Mmoiemang.

Police will be faced with the task of meeting people in the roadblocks who are saying they are going to Chicken Licken

Though transport director-general Alec Moemi initially said the provision for a drive-through was implied in the stage 4 regulations, Mbalula was quick to shoot that down.

“Fast food will be allowed according to the regulations, yes. But a drive-through, once you say people must do a drive through, which will not be allowed ... once you say people must drive through, then you are encouraging sphithiphithi [congestion] on the roads.

“The aim of the lockdown is to decrease the numbers and unnecessary movement because in no time, police will be faced with the task of meeting people in the roadblocks who are saying they are going to Chicken Licken,” Mbalula said.

He said officers already had their hands full with people going to buy essential goods and groceries.