NATIONAL NEWS - Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has signed the government notice outlining the regulations that will be in effect during the 21-day national lockdown kicking in from this Friday morning, 27 March.
Anyone not adhering to these regulations faces a fine or six months’ imprisonment.
The regulations prohibit movement between provinces, and the selling or buying of anything except essential goods.
Government has also backtracked on the health minister okaying dog walking and jogging, with the police minister making it clear on this afternoon that walking your dog or any form of outdoor exercise do not form part of the allowed regulations.
No one suspected of having Covid-19 may refuse medical examination, admission to a health establishment, quarantine site or isolation site. Treatment will be mandatory.
During the lockdown, citizens will be confined to their places of residence unless they are performing an essential task, obtaining essential goods or services, collecting a social grant or seeking emergency, life-saving or chronic medical attention.
Aside from not being able to leave provinces, there will be no movement between district and metropolitan areas.
All businesses must be closed except for those in the manufacturing of essential goods, or the supply or provision of an essential service. All liquor outlets will be closed.
Retail stores selling essential goods will be prohibited from selling any other goods.
Anyone may be subjected to screening for Covid-19 by an enforcement officer.
Foreign tourists will be subject to being locked down.
Attendance at funerals will be limited to 50 people, with no night vigils and all safety precautions adhered to.
As for public transport, no commuter transport will be allowed except for the purposes of seeking essential goods, receiving social grants, attending funerals and seeking medical attention. Vehicles will only be allowed to carry 50% of their licensed capacity and must follow all directions regarding hygienic conditions and the limiting of exposure.
Where a person renders an essential service and is unable to travel to and from the place of employment, the employer must arrange transport, keeping in mind the prohibition on filling vehicles to beyond 50% of licensed capacity.
Anyone who can’t self-isolate at home can be removed to a temporary shelter by an enforcement officer.
Police Minister Bheki Cele had this to say:
“Following the declaration of a nationwide lockdown by the President this past Monday, we have sat as the JCPS Cluster and the South African Police Service, to outline and intensify the measures we would be implementing to make sure that the intentions of this lockdown are realised.
“With the subsequent deployment of the SANDF, we will be increasing visibility and conduct integrated foot patrols, roadblocks, vehicle checkpoints as of 23:59 on Thursday evening 26 March 2020. Metro Police Departments as well as other Law Enforcement Agencies will form part of these joint operations that will be conducted for the duration of the lockdown. Operations, especially roadblocks will be conducted at sector policing level within communities and residential areas, on provincial and national roads. This will ensure that the movement of people and vehicles is kept to the minimum, with the exception of the transportation of essential goods and/or services which include fire and medical emergency services.
“At these roadblocks particularly on provincial and national roads, motorists, especially essential service workers that cross provincial borders, will be subjected to screening by officials from the Department of Health.
“In terms of the new regulations that have just been gazetted, Police will be responsible to ensure the restriction of movement of persons and goods. Therefore, there shall be, absolutely no gatherings other than for a funeral, where the number of mourners will be restricted to 50. Still on funerals, we need to emphasise that even night vigils will be prohibited.
“Last weekend with the previous COVID-19 Disaster Management Regulations, we were inundated with requests for clarity and a lot of other questions around the selling and consumption of liquor. This time around with the National Lockdown, the selling of liquor is strictly prohibited. This is applicable to also those supermarkets with liquor licences. No liquor will be sold anywhere by anyone during the 21-day period of the lockdown.
“Equally, the movement of liquor between any two points is also strictly prohibited as per the COVID-19 Disaster Management Regulations.
“The President in declaring the lockdown, made exception to essential goods and services.
“Therefore, anyone found to be in contravention of the Regulations, shall be found guilty and on conviction, will be liable to a fine, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both.
“We have noted the fear and the possibility of the escalation of gender based violence that could come as a result of liquor now being consumed at home. As an extra measure, we have plans in place to beef up our FCS Units (Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences) to deal with this threat. The number 0800 150 150 can be used to report incidents of gender based violence for urgent response.
“Meanwhile, all forms of crime must be reported. Our 10111 will remain fully functional during the lockdown period. The Crime Stop number is also functional and can be used to give anonymous tip offs on suspected criminal activities. Also, police and the SANDF will be visible in the streets conducting foot patrols.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the simplest and best way to combat the spread of the coronavirus, is to adhere to the call by the President and STAY HOME. The only time you should be outside of your home should be to acquire essential services such as medical attention, food, or other goods and services as listed in the Annexure to the Regulations.
“Cooperation from the public is the best way to win this battle. I must appreciate the calls and tip-offs we got last weekend reporting people who were ignoring the Disaster Management Regulations. In fact, it is exactly that stubborn behaviour that has now caused us a national lockdown.
“Again I warn, failure to respect and obey the laws this time around, could drive us straight into a state of emergency. The situation we find ourselves in demands that we all be responsible and take the necessary precautions.
“Let us unite against the virus. Remember, our aim is to arrest the virus not to arrest people.”