Deployment of soldiers to cost nearly R650m – Ramaphosa tells Speaker

President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed the cost of the 21-day deployment of soldiers in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise.

President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed over 2,000 soldiers during the 21-lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Their deployment is authorised in terms of Section 201 of Constitution and Section 18 of the Defence Act. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The deployment of 2,820 soldiers to maintain law and order during the 21-day lockdown will cost R641 million.

President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed this in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise on Friday.

The 21-day lockdown, which is part of measures put in place by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus, kicked off at midnight and will see only those working in identified essential services allowed to leave their homes.

The South African National Defense Force (SANDF) and the police are working hand-in-hand to limit the movement of South Africans.

A number of arrests have also been made in various parts of the country.

President Ramaphosa said in his letter to Modise, SANDF members would be deployed in all nine provinces.

Their deployment is authorised in terms of Section 201 of Constitution and Section 18 of the Defence Act. This means Ramaphosa has to inform Parliament through the Speaker, about any army deployment inside or outside the country.

WATCH: Ramaphosa deploys soldiers for SA lockdown


  • Starting today, you have to stay home

  • You can leave buy groceries or medicine, or to go to your doctor

  • If you are stopped and asked why you are out, you need to explain

  • Shop at the shop closest to you, if you don’t find what you need there, go to the next nearest shop

  • You will only be able to buy foodstuffs and other items listed as essential – so you won’t be able to buy clothes or homeware at your local Woolies superstore

  • Government will keep supply lines open, grocery shops will remain open – government is working along with retailers and food and essential goods producers to ensure supplies reach the shops

  • The Police minister was very clear - you won’t be able to buy booze during the lockdown – at all. Anywhere. You are not even allowed to move a six pack to your neighbour’s

  • No jogging, no dog walking, no exercise, no leaving your home at all unless you are going to the shops for essentials, to the doctor, or to the pharmacy

  • If you have an elderly or vulnerable relative you can take them food or take them to the doctor (that’s included in the regulations), but if you are stopped and asked why you are out, you will need to explain

  • Minister Lindiwe Zulu is requesting that children remain with the primary custody holder, and that they only be moved under exceptional circumstances – but they have yet to define what constitutes an exceptional circumstance. Basically, no children should be moved for the duration of the lockdown

  • If you rely on public transport or metered taxis and e-hailing services to get you to the shops or the doctor, they will only be available and allowed to transport people and essential services workers between 5am to 9am and from 4pm to 8pm

  • They will have to be comprehensively sanitized after every trip – only one passenger in a four-person car; only 3 passengers in an 8 person vehicle

  • Uber says there will be no surge pricing during the lockdown. It’s clarified ubers can only be used for to obtain an essential good or service (grocery/medicine shopping) or for rendering an essential service (eg getting to work if you are an essential worker, or taking food to a vulnerable person eg an elderly parent who can’t go out)

  • UberX, UberGO, UberBLACK, UberASSIST, UberVIP – Maximum of 1 passenger UberXL – Maximum of 2 passengers UberVan – Maximum of 3 passengers

  • UberEats will not be operating during the lockdown.

Additional reporting by Bonga Dlulane