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Heroes are taking over Soweto.

Soweto Business Access and a host of South Africa’s leading consumer brands joined together to launch today, 11 August, the Heroooes Delivery Service (HDS) initiative, bringing safe, convenient shopping to homes in Soweto. Through the use of WhatsApp, shopping lists including groceries, home care, body care, hardware and pharmaceuticals can be sent to a hero on duty, have them shop for the items, stand in the queue and deliver it to the customer’s home.

“This initiative could not have come at a better time, with less people wanting to leave their homes. Now, we have a solution to help keep residents from having to go into a store, and for helping those who are most vulnerable during this time,” says Mphuthi Mphuthi, founder of Soweto Business Access. “After an initial six-month pilot programme, we are hoping to expand this initiative from Soweto to the rest of the province, and perhaps beyond.”

Well-known brands Personal Touch, Viva, Clere, Clere for Men, Gold Series and Playboy and Playgirl deodorants approached Soweto Business Access with the idea, knowing that together they could make HDS possible.  This much-needed delivery service is generating jobs and bringing the customer together with the supplier. “Uplifting and focussing on the well-being of communities, has always been synonymous with our brands’ intrinsic values, and we are thrilled to be a part of the inception of the Heroooes Delivery Service, where we will be involved in not only creating job opportunities, but keeping people safely at home during this time,” says Karen Kruger, general manager at AMKA products.

But, how does it work? During the pilot phase, advertising will be done the old-fashioned way – door-to-door, where customers will be educated on how HDS works, and how it can benefit them. This will be carried out within Soweto’s wards – Dlamini, Mofolo, Molapo, Moroka and Jabavu. A WhatsApp number will be provided to customers to use when placing their orders. These orders will be sent to HDS employees who will be in the stores ready to start shopping. The products will then be packed up and can either be collected by the person who placed the order, or by one of the HDS heroes on a branded bicycle who will deliver the shopping straight to the customer’s home.

Depending on the size of the orders, the cost of having your order shopped for with the customer collecting will start from as little as R5, and if delivered will start from R10. No alcohol will be bought and delivered.  “The next step is to have cashless transactions, and we are currently in talks with a bank on how we can make this happen,” explains Mphuthi.

This initiative does not only benefit the consumer, but also the retailers, especially those who do not have the option of providing delivery services. “Many local retailers have been hard hit during this pandemic, as less people are wanting to leave their homes and are relying on other means of getting their groceries,” comments Kruger. “By using this delivery service, local retailers who would usually lose out when it comes to home deliveries, will now have a solution to offer their shoppers.”

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