Gauteng traffic police have established 24-hour roadblocks in and out of the province in an attempt to limit leisure travel.
Police spokesperson Obed Sibasa told eNCA that the roadblocks are in place on major routes to prevent travel to the surrounding provinces, including:
- Free State;
- North West;
While 10 roadblocks were originally set up when the country first moved to an adjusted level 4 lockdown on 1 July, these have since been supplemented with additional checkpoints, he said.
Sibasa said that officers will stop motor vehicles and search them for anything illegal, for roadworthiness and for documentation.
He said that similar checks are in place for public travel and that operators may only have 70% on long-distance commutes.
Under South Africa’s adjusted level 4 lockdown restrictions, leisure travel in and out of Gauteng province is prohibited, except in the case of businesses, emergencies, attending a funeral, moving residences or one of the other permitted reasons.
People who are currently outside the province and reside there may return home.
The restrictions are in place in the hopes of containing the Covid-19 spread from Gauteng, which is the centre of infections during the country’s third Covid-19 wave.
On Sunday (4 July), South Africa reported have been 16,585 new cases of Covid-19 – of these 9,443 were reported in Gauteng.
Jailtime on the cards
Police minister Bheki Cele has warned that transgressors of the alert level 4 regulations will leave law enforcement with no option but to make arrests.
In a media briefing last week, Cele said that the aim was not to criminalise people on mass but instead make sure that these regulations are being followed.
“As a country, we are all wiser to the effects of this deadly virus. We all know the pain and destruction Covid-19 continues to cause us as a nation and I am confident, there will be more compliance to the regulations set out to save lives.”
Non-compliance with the regulations carries an option of a fine or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.
Since 27 March last year, police had arrested 465,098 citizens who have been charged with the contravention of the Disaster Management Act.
Of these, 7,439 were nabbed during adjusted alert level 3 which commenced on 16 June 2021.
“Police will continue to monitor compliance through targeted operations, which will be intensified in hotspot provinces.
“Community members are also encouraged to continue to be instrumental in reporting the flouting of the regulations,” he said.