Police Minister Bheki Cele said 55 people were arrested for breaking regulations on the first day of SA’s 21-day lockdown. He was speaking in Pretoria at an inter-ministerial briefing on the back of day one of the national lockdown. The lockdown began at midnight on Thursday and saw the SA Police Service, metro police officers and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed across the country to enforce it.
Cele said they will be intensifying roadblocks across the country in order to enforce the nationwide lockdown regulations.
There have been at least 172 roadblocks across the country with 24 000 personnel deployed as the lockdown continues.
Cele says arrested people are kept at police stations, in different provinces. He’s also emphasised the importance of ensuring that those who are arrested are kept healthy.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has slammed those who seek to undermine the national lockdown which is part of wide-ranging interventions to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Mbalula says there have been some challenges with public transport, particularly long queues and a lack of transport to ferry essential workers
“The first challenge in terms of public transport is transporting workers with essential need like those working in the banks or supermarkets, in the hospitals.”
“The operations started well today. We had challenges of long queues where taxi industry did not come to the party to transport people and we want to emphasize once more that the regulations as stand in relation to 5-9 in the morning, but afternoon 4-8 that still stands.”
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he has intervened to ease congestion of people leaving the country through the Beitbridge Border in Musina in Limpopo, amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Many motorists, including truck drivers, were earlier stuck on the long queue from Thursady night.
He says the department had to allow everyone to pass because Musina does not have capacity to handle the situation.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Friday that the country has over 1100 cases confirmed cases 0f COVID-19 and one of those patients has died.
The fatality occurred in the Western Cape.
During the lockdown period, the Home Affairs Department will only issue temporary identity documents, temporary birth certificates and death certificates. No passports and marriage certificates will be issued.
For more updates on the coronavirus in South Africa and worldwide, add the official government COVID-19 support service on WhatsApp on 0600 123 456.