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SA lockdown: No booze, dog walks or restaurant visits

Ministers of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster together with Governance, State Capacity and Institutional Development on Wednesday briefed the media on the coming lockdown and how it would be enforced.

Police Minister Bheki Cele at an inter-ministerial briefing on the coronavirus in Pretoria on 13 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele has clarified that South Africans will not be allowed to walk their dogs outside their residences during the 21-day national lockdown starting at midnight on Thursday.

“There shall be no movement, you will not be walking your dog,” Cele said.

He was speaking at a press briefing in Pretoria on the enforcement of the national lockdown by ministers of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster together with Governance, State Capacity, and Institutional Development.

SALE OF ALCOHOL, RESTAURANTS

Cele also announced that there will be no selling or movement of alcohol during the lockdown. He said restaurants would not be allowed to operate during this period. Failure to adhere to the regulations would be punishable, he warned and only 50 people would be permitted to attend funerals.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

At the same time, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that public transport for essential services personnel would be permitted from 5am to 9am and 4pm to 8pm. Users of e-hailing services like Uber and Bolt - including metered taxis – would also operate the same way.

Mbalula said long-distance railway services would be shut down for the period. This included private and public railway services, while regional trains services like the Gautrain in Gauteng and Metrorail would also be suspended.

With regards to taxis and taxi ranks, the minister said they should be regularly sanitised after every trip. Where appropriate, government will assistance them.There would also be limited bus operations.

Mbalula said citizens travelling would have to prove that they are providing essential services.

He said vehicle testing centres and driver's licence testing centres (DLTCs) would be closed. On driver's licences that have expired during this period, Mbalula said motorists who find themselves in this position their licences would be deemed valid until the end of the lockdown with a grace period of renewal within 14 working days thereafter, unless otherwise determined.

HOME AFFAIRS

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said all border posts would be completely closed to the movement of people. But goods and trade would continue to move in and out of the country.

The minister said pictures circulating on social media of Chinese nationals attempting to enter a port of entry were fake. He said the people who posted the pictures would be charged in line with regulations put in place by government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Motsoaledi said only temporary IDs, death certificates, and the replacement of birth certificates would be issued by Home Affairs.

SANDF

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would be manning roadblocks and enforcing curfews, along with the SA Police Service. Mapisa-Nqcakula said the lockdown was not meant to punish South Africans but to contain the spread of the virus.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said government would assist where necessary with transportation of social grant beneficiaries. She said the social grant increases as announced during the budget speech in February would be implemented.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said there were 16 suspected cases of COVID-19 among Department of Correctional Services officials.

However, the minister said 11 officials had since tested negative for the virus and the department was still waiting for the results of the last five.

WATCH: Justice cluster details lockdown enforcement

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