Pharmaceutical retailer Dis-Chem, along with a couple of partners, is offering free Covid-19 testing to South Africans in need. 

There is currently a national backlog of Covid-19 testing, and as a result, the Western Cape government has now decided not to test people aged 55 or younger in the Cape Town metro if they have no underlying conditions.

The retailer Dis-Chem says it has partnered with the Solidarity Fund to offer the testing.

You first have to apply for the test via one of these avenues:

READ | Coronavirus hotline: Hundreds of SA doctors will now give you free advice

To qualify, applicants can't be a member of a medical scheme nor be employed. Other criteria may include whether the person is a pensioner, disabled or orphaned.

Dis-Chem will inform you via SMS and send you a voucher to redeem for testing purposes, as well as directions to your nearest Dis-Chem testing site.

According to Dis-Chem, the results should be available in three to five days.

In April, Dis-Chem launched drive-through Covid-19 testing sites in shopping centre parking lots in Gauteng. It has now conducted 15,000 tests at 22 sites.  

READ | Dis-Chem now offers drive-through Covid-19 tests - at R850 each

The pharmaceutical retailer has come under fire for its conduct during the coronavirus crisis. 

The Competition Commission has referred Dis-Chem to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for excessive pricing of face masks. The company - which was allowed to trade throughout lockdown - has also refused to pay full rent to its landlords.

(Compiled by Edward-John Bottomley and Bombi Mavundza)

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