“If you want to drink then you drink at your home, not at the neighbour’s place,” said Police Minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday. It was during his public announcement that he revealed to the public without any uncertainty, that the three-week lockdown is not going to be a holiday. Speaking at the justice, crime prevention and security cluster briefing, Cele confirmed that the buying and selling of alcohol during the lockdown period would be strictly prohibited.
Cele warned that roadblocks and spot checks, conducted by both the Police Service and the National Defence Force, would be implemented to carefully monitor and restrict unnecessary movement until the 16th of April. “No movement of liquor from point A to point B. There shall be no movement. If you break these laws, you will be in prison for six months or be fined, or both.”
Tourism will be hardest hit during this pandemic as many foreigners are now forced to extend their stay in the Kruger National Park. South African National Parks (SANParks) announced its decision to close all its tourism facilities to the public, effective as of Wednesday this week, in support of the lockdown declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fundisile Mketeni, SANParks Chief executive, said that despite the immediate closure of their parks and facilities, the health and wellbeing of their guests will be catered for. “We would like to assure our staff and visitors that their health and wellbeing is of critical importance. We therefore request that all overnight guests vacate the parks today, Wednesday 25th of March, and ensure they have adequate time to return to their homes by the lockdown time of midnight on Thursday, March 26.”
Day visitors will not be permitted to the enter the parks.
What you will be able to do during lockdown:
Shopping - Shops will only be allowed to sell food and basic goods during the lockdown. Government’s list of essential goods includes toilet paper, hand sanitiser, all-purpose cleaners, baby formula, disposable nappies, cooking oils, wheat flour, rice, maize meal, pasta, sugar, long-life milk as well canned and frozen vegetables and meat. Last week, government introduced price controls on these products, and urged consumers to report price increases to the National Consumer Commission (telephone number: 0800 014 880). You will not be allowed to buy alcohol.
Transport – Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that minibus taxis (as well as Uber and Bolt) can only be on the roads between 05:00 to 09:00, and from 16:00 to 20:00. There will be no mass movement of buses, Mbalula said. Only buses carrying workers, and those to hospitals will run. South African Airways (SAA), FlySafair and Comair have cancelled all domestic flights ahead of the 21-day lockdown which started at midnight last night. The airlines are offering consumers free flight rebookings, and in some cases vouchers, to accommodate passengers on cancelled flights.
Going outside - Individuals must stay at home unless they are buying groceries or petrol, getting social grants, banking or seeking medical care, which are allowed during lockdown. It was still not clear at the time of going to print yesterday, what permits exactly, were necessary in order to prove that you are allowed to leave your home. You will need a permit to move around without restrictions and these will be given only to people involved in essential services — there are 28 categories listed. No visiting will be allowed by family under lockdown, but old-age homes will get the food and support they need along with children’s homes and youth homes, the social cluster promises.
Social workers will be listed under essential services, as will others working in social services. Police minister Bheki Cele made it clear early on Wednesday evening that “no dogs will be walked” during the lockdown.