South Africa

McDonald’s SA distances itself from Israeli operations amid growing calls for boycott


McDonald’s South Africa has distanced itself from McDonald’s operation in Israel amid growing calls on social media to boycott the fast-food franchise.

Thousands of people have been killed in the current conflict in the Middle East, while more than one million others have been displaced in the region, the UN said.

On Tuesday, McDonald’s South Africa issued a statement saying it was a local enterprise with full ownership and operations overseen by local management.

“We are not affiliated with McDonald’s operations in Israel, which is a locally-owned Israeli enterprise,” the franchise’s local management said.

“McDonald’s in Israel operates as a separate entity from McDonald’s South Africa and makes its own business and communication decisions, independent of our business in South Africa.”

McDonald’s Israel boycott

The statement came amid growing calls on social media to boycott McDonald’s Israel after the franchise announced last week that it would be providing thousands of free meals to Israeli soldiers following the deadly conflict in Gaza.

On Thursday, McDonald’s Israel said it would continue to donate thousands of meals daily.

Two days later, McDonald’s Oman extended financial support for the people of Gaza.

“We are pleased to announce that McDonald’s Oman has donated $100 000 towards the relief effort for the people of Gaza, in coordination with the concerned official authorities,” McDonald’s Oman said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).

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McDonald’s South Africa said it was a commercial entity with a single-minded focus on serving great food and providing “exceptional service”.

“We do not engage in any form of political involvement. Our dedication is solely to delivering the McDonald’s experience you love and trust,” the franchise said.

McDonald’s South Africa added that its journey began with the inaugural restaurant in Blackheath in 1995.

“With 377 restaurants across South Africa, we play a crucial role in bolstering our national economy. We take pride in contributing to employment opportunities, local business partners, and fostering economic growth,” it said.

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