Push for stricter regulations around South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown – including limits on shopping times

The City of Cape Town has asked the national government to ‘refine’ South Africa’s lockdown regulations to make implementation easier for the police and military.

Currently, any person found on the street may plausibly claim to be out for the purposes of shopping for food, said the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith.

This means it is impossible for the police, whether SAPS, SANDF, Metro Police or Law Enforcement, to truthfully determine whether a person is entitled to be on the street or not, he said.

“The City is therefore calling for the national government to amend the regulations to limit the hours of shopping at shopping malls as well as spaza and tuck shops to the hours of 09hoo to 13h00 daily as everybody will have had the chance to undertake their necessary shopping once the grant recipients have drawn their grant payments.

“We also call on them to limit the number of people who may be out to shop on any day to specific surnames who may be out on any given day or some other provision in the regulations to make regulations more helpful for the police to be able to improve the situation on the streets.”

Smith said that the national government should also reconsider its stance on the deployment of the neighbourhood watches.

“There are thousands of well-trained neighbourhood watches in Cape Town who would be able to continue doing the good work they do every day in fighting crime, as we have already seen criminals changing their modus operandi to take advantage of the lockdown,” he said.

New regulations 

While the government has already made a number of changes to South Africa’s lockdown regulations, it has not indicated whether it plans to further restrict South Africans during the 21-day period.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday (31 March), Health minister Zweli Mkhize said that irrespective of when the lockdown is lifted, it won’t be back to ‘life as normal’ for South Africa.

“Whatever happens after the 21-days we must know that our behaviour must change completely,” he said.

“If we can stick to the guidelines that have been given then we can make an impact on the number of infections.  It will not be the same as the other countries, but if we take the lessons from other countries we can make a difference.

“Right now we have three weeks.  It’s the three weeks we need to deal with the rate of infection. Obviously we will not have life as normal after the 21 days. There needs to be an adjustment.”

Read: 1,353 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa – as deaths climb to 5

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Push for stricter regulations around South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown – including limits on shopping times