JOHANNESBURG – Times of crisis bring out the very best and the very worst in humankind.
I have heard so many heart-warming stories over the last week since the President shifted gear in the country’s response to the coronavirus, of people pulling together, helping each other out, looking after vulnerable neighbours and generally displaying the spirit of ubuntu that defines who we are, that it restores one’s faith in humanity.
But equally, there are those who are determined to turn the circumstances in which we find ourselves to their own advantage. These people include those who are hiking the costs of essential goods and services and meeting demand with supply at exorbitant prices. Stockpiling is one of the causes of the disruption in supply chain patterns and can legitimately be a contributing cause of price increases.
The toilet roll example is the most obvious and ridiculous one, but mercifully the run on two-ply seems not to have taken hold and on my last visit to the supermarket, all the aisles in the toiletry section were stacked high with packets and packets of toilet rolls as if mocking those hell bent on buying as many as the shops can sell them.
It is unlikely, fellow South Africans, that we will run out of anything essential for our existence any time soon, so buy only what you need in reasonable quantities.