Takealot.com CEO Kim Reid said on Friday that if the e-commerce company were to take government to court to challenge its continued ban on e-commerce, it would win – but he hopes it won’t be necessary.
In a podcast interview with TechCentral — watch the video below — Reid said the e-retailer continues to lobby government to have the rules relaxed on an urgent basis.
Though Takealot and other online commerce companies can sell more goods under level-4 lockdown, including ICT products, Reid said the company is still only able to sell 50% of its stock-keeping units.
Citing a new report from the World Trade Organisation encouraging e-commerce as a means of curtailing the spread of Covid-19, he said it is imperative to open the online shopping space to unfettered trading as soon as possible to avoid sweeping job losses and unnecessary damage to the economy.
Though Takealot continues to pay all staff their full salaries, and the slight relaxation of the rules under level 4 has helped mitigate some of the impact, he said disallowing unfettered e-commerce makes no sense.
“I do believe that if we went to court, we would win… It’s a difficult discussion for us to have … because we belong to a multinational (Naspers) and how will that be perceived…? If I was a sole trader today, I know what I’d be doing…”
Watch the interview:
However, Reid said he remains “confident” of a resolution and hopes this will happen within the next week.
But, he said, the Disaster Management Act requires that government produces regulations that are reasonable and that don’t harm citizens.
“In my view, government is not acting within its powers; it’s not doing good for society. You have an industry that is operating all over the world in an unfettered environment and it adds jobs … (and) ensures there is some type of economy going on in a very difficult situation, and yet they decide to limit it. That can’t be to the benefit of South Africa.” — © 2020 NewsCentral Media