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Social media streets: Mabena is ‘ready’ for you & Rupert, Oppenheimer my 'type'

Hashtags including #ShutdownSouthAfrica and #Lockdown gained momentum on sites including Facebook and Twitter after the president announced the nationwide lockdown.

FIE: SANDF soldier on patrol in Manenberg. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – After President Cyril Ramaphosa concluded his speech on Monday night on the measures government took to curb the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, South Africans flooded social media platforms to share their thoughts.

Hashtags including #ShutdownSouthAfrica and #LockdownSA gained momentum on sites including Facebook and Twitter.

Many South Africans were unhappy with the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, particularly those imported from high-risk countries.

They also wanted the country to shut down to restrict civilian movement around the country to reduce the spread of the virus.

After Monday night’s announcement, however, the tone has shifted somewhat and the president was trending for the right reasons.

Among other things he was described as bold, compassionate and strong.

Meanwhile, there was also much debate about the wealthy Rupert and Oppenheimer families, seen to be close to the president and their pledge of R1 billion each to help small businesses affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHAT MEASURES WILL THE SANDF REALLY TAKE?

In true South African style, people on social media poked fun at the lockdown after some spotted South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members around Johannesburg.

SANDF members will be deployed around the country once the lockdown comes into effect from Thursday midnight.

The SANDF memo states that the army will be deployed to eight provinces, with Limpopo excluded.

The hashtags #Mabena, #21DaysLockdown and #SANDF started trending where memes and GIFs making light of people possibly breaking the lockdown rules.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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