Tshepo Mmusi
Klerksdorp, Jouberton Township.

The new normal seems to be a nightmare to many residents of Jouberton and nearby communities such as Alabama, Dominionville and surrounding farms. People wake up as early as 5:30 in the morning making their way to the Jouberton township shopping mall (Tower Mall). This exercise is a constant reminder of the olden days where our old granny’s used to wake up as early as three o clock in the morning to que for their old age grant money. Long spiralling queues are seen outside the mall marshalled by the mall’s security officers.
This is a daily exercise and one asks themselves question that on normal days the que is so long and devastating, now how are they going to look during social grants pay out days. Residents have to que three times or more ques on a normal shopping day. The first one outside the mall waiting to be let inside the mall by security guards, the second one is to get money from ATM’s, the last ones to enter grocery stores or clothing stores. The whole exercise can amount to five hours.

Outside the mall the security guards visibility is not that much and from my observation social distancing is not maintained. It is only maintained inside the mall whereby now and then the officers do thorough checks and sanitization. Mobile units from the department of health and other service providers such as Aurum institute conduct screening and testing of people right inside the mall. Can people get used to the new normal? Long queues and tiredness. With additional people who will be receiving their unemployment grant for the first time next week I think it is going to be worse than ever. Regulation governing the movement of public transport does not make it better for ordinary members of the community, as they have to wait for four o clock to hit in order to travel back to their homes. Shopping is a nightmare for many