CoCT warns of stricter COVID-19 enforcement if citizens don't follow regulations

Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith said that if residents did not heed the warnings, more restrictions could be imposed.

FILE: A Cape Town Metro Police officer (left) directs Langa residents to remain indoors during the coronavirus lockdown on 27 March 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town said that more stringent enforcement measures could be imposed if residents did not adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

This comes amid an upswing in the rate of infections in Cape Town and other parts of the Western Cape.

It's hoped that the enforcement will help slow the spread, with government stating that the economy cannot afford to return to another hard lockdown.

Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith said that if residents did not heed the warnings, more restrictions could be imposed.

"It's imperative that we do what we can now during this second wave, otherwise we may be deprived of the festive season so many people have been longing for after what's been a grim year for everyone."

Law enforcement agencies will now focus on ensuring compliance with COVID-19 healthy and safety protocols.

"We will be required to dedicate more energy on enforcing, specifically in alcohol-related environments - the pubs, taverns, night clubs - which have been identified as one of the major sources of transmissions."

Smith said that this was not ideal, as officers should be patrolling and fighting crime.

"We deal with a very high number of land invasions and protest actions weekly and that drains a huge amount of our resources. If people cannot voluntarily self-regulate, then it is very important for the city to move towards more intensive enforcement."

The city said that COVID-19 compliance levels were high at the start of the lockdown.

However, they've dropped slowly as time progressed, largely as a result of lockdown fatigue.

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