Information about Covid-19 coronavirus

'If people are stockpiling, they must be willing to offer those that can't'

Business, government and unions met on Monday at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to discuss how the social partners can work together to respond to COVID-19.

Social partners called for consumers to refrain from panic buying.

Videos on social media went viral showing shoppers stocking up on soap, hand sanitizers, and anything they believe can protect them from the virus.

RELATED: What small businesses can do to survive coronavirus

Bongani Bingwa chats to Gordon Institute of Business Science dean professor Nicola Kleyn to unpack the effects of panic buying.

Academic papers suggest that panic buying is actually rational disaster buying. They are expecting that they may not have access to food stocks for some time.

Professor Nicola Kleyn, Dean - Gordon Institute of Business Science

She says panic buying in the case of a disaster is a fairly short-lived phenomenon.

When people feel that death is imminent they will behave and in most cases, they will panic. What we are seeing is psychological behaviour, it is less about the stock and more about what they are buying like toilet paper.

Professor Nicola Kleyn, Dean - Gordon Institute of Business Science

The hypophysis is that toilet paper is big and comfortable and relatively cheap for its size, she says.

Buying toilet paper is not panic buying, people want to feel that they have done what they needed to be prepared and toilet paper represents an easy purchase. People need to be conscious and rational when they go shopping. If people are stockpiling, they must be will to offer those that can't.

Professor Nicola Kleyn, Dean - Gordon Institute of Business Science

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix

Listen below to the full conversation:


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