As South Africa enters its first full week of lockdown, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, many locals are adjusting to a life spent in the confines of their homes.

Another adjustment folks are making is dealing with restrictions on movement and not being able to head to the store on a whim.

While Takealot has said that it will continue to deliver essential goods to customers, one company fulfilling deliveries to South Africans is bound to cause issues and delays.

In light of that we bring you news from ride sharing service Bolt.

The firm has done something rather clever that allows drivers to keep earning money while delivering essential goods to South Africans.

“We have launched Bolt Business Delivery with two key goals in mind: to make sure that drivers on the Bolt platform can continue to earn a living safely, and to help businesses selling the essential products defined by the lockdown regulations to get orders to their customers quickly and safely,” said country manager for Bolt South Africa, Gareth Taylor.

Simply put, those selling essential goods such as food or medicine can use the Bolt Business Delivery platform to facilitate deliveries which will be sent out between 05:00 and 09:00 and 16:00 and 20:00 each day. These time periods are the times in which regulations allow ehailing services to function during lockdown.

Merchants will be able to schedule deliveries in batches or individually using the Bolt Business Delivery platform.

From here the merchant can track the order and the customer will receive an SMS when their order is dispatched,

“During the COVID-19 outbreak, contactless delivery is mandatory for all Bolt Business Delivery orders to help prevent the spread of the virus from person to person. Drivers using the Bolt Business Delivery platform strictly adhere to the regulations announced by the Minister of Transport, including sanitizing their vehicle with SABS-approved sanitizer after each trip,” said Bolt.

Businesses interested in taking Bolt up on the Bolt Business Delivery offer are asked to complete this form or pop an email to [email protected]

From that form we can see that Bolt is directing this service at grocery stores, ecommerce platforms, pharmacies, flower shops and restaurants (although all restaurants are currently closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions).

Bolt operates in 30 South African cities so here’s hoping local businesses take up this offer so that more folks can get essential goods delivered while they practice social distancing.