South Africa’s drivers are being warned to expect stricter enforcement of lockdown regulations on roads. The warning was issued by Minister of Police Bheki Cele, during a media briefing on Wednesday, July 15.
According to Cele, these enforcement measures will include roadblocks and patrols, along with increased police visibility “where applicable” in streets, malls and other places people have a tendency to ignore social distancing protocols.
“There will also be random stop and search operations to ensure that the prohibition on the transportation of alcohol and tobacco is not being subverted,” the Minister said. “Throughout all of this, law enforcement officials will be dependent on the cooperation of community members to ensure these operations are handled in the best possible spirit and with the least disruption.”
The Minister added that the country’s intelligence services have been working throughout the pandemic to help in the efforts of tracking and tracing those with COVID-19. These services have provided invaluable insights into trends and patterns in the manifestation of the virus.
During his national address on Sunday [July 12], President Cyril Ramaphosa announced several measures in which police enforcement would intensify. These include:
- The wearing of cloth masks in public spaces is now mandatory
- Long-distance taxis are to adhere to 70% occupancy. Short distance taxis may adhere to 100% occupancy, and this strict health protocols must be employed
- The sale, dispensing and distributing of alcohol is suspended with immediate effect
- A curfew is in place between 9pm and 4am, except for those who travel for work or are in need of urgent medical assistance
“Law enforcement officials have been instructed to act resolutely to enforce compliance with the regulations, arresting those that breach them and ensuring that they are successfully prosecuted,” Cele added.