The Western Cape’s Disaster Management Centre is preparing to deploy law enforcement officials to clampdown on the Mother City’s nightlife scene amid the COVID-19 resurgence in the Cape metro.

Institutions found to be in contravention of lockdown regulations will be fined, according to Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.

“We have committed to the province that we will be providing additional resources. We will be targeting entertainment venues and entertainment and we will be enforcing our regulations more aggressively,” said Smith. “They are not popular but we have to do everything we can to prevent us from going to level 3.

Smith told the Cape Argus that taverns are specifically being targeted as they have been proven to be super-spreaders and contibute to alcohol-related incidents, which the province’s healthcare system does not need as COVID-19 infections increase.

In the Western Cape, the Garden Route and Cape metro are at the centre of the resurgence. Anton Bredell, local government’s Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister, has banned all planned events along the Western Cape’s Garden Route due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) met on Tuesday, December 1 to discuss the way forward amid rising figures in the Eastern and Western Cape. The day after, the President met with the nine premiers to engage and consult with them. They are yet to make an announcement about next steps, which could include a 10pm curfew.

“The Western Cape has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 in recent weeks and the increase in cases must be carefully monitored and managed. The Western Cape does not however support a lockdown being imposed on the province,” said Premier Alan Winde following the meeting.

“We believe that local, targeted interventions based in science and common sense will not only help to flatten the curve of infection, but will also protect businesses and the economy from the negative impact of a lockdown. We await further announcements from the President around potential interventions at a national level and in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

“The Western Cape, for its part, will be working on specific and localised interventions aimed at reducing the infection rate. The province has for the duration of this pandemic, worked to introduce smart, innovative ways to reduce risk and infection. We will make further announcements during tomorrow’s digicon on interventions which are focused on behaviour change and stronger enforcement.”

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