Police Minister Bheki Cele conducted inspections in Long Street on Friday night. Picture: Supplied
Police Minister Bheki Cele conducted inspections in Long Street on Friday night. Picture: Supplied

Bheki Cele vows to enforce lockdown regulations after surprise visit to Cape venues

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Dec 14, 2020

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Cape Town – Police Minister Bheki Cele said more resources would be deployed to enforce stringent measures to ensure compliance with lockdown regulations.

Cele was on a two-day trip as part of a “Safer Festive Season” inspection tour in the Western Cape.

“Our job is to work on the crime situation and this time we are pushing our operation and moving to different communities to see their situations. We started in Gugulethu and the mall managers told us that they could see the decline in crime.

“There is a uptick in coronavirus. I was in Bellville and in Dunoon and when you come to malls there is compliance, but when you get outside the non-compliance is very high.”

Cele said police would be on standby to enforce the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Cele addressed a police parade just opposite the Bellville taxi on Thursday before he conducted inspections. He then moved through the chaotic taxi rank with armed police officers, urging commuters to abide by Covid-19 regulations. Cele visited Long Street and Rands in Khayelitsha on Friday evening.

Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said: “He (Cele) found that there was some level of compliance when it came to establishments such as Rands and in Long Street. He was quite pleased that the managers of these places put in place measures to ensure the safety of patrons, who were also keeping social distances and wearing masks.

“The minister raised his concerns around people in some areas he visited who simply didn’t bother to wear their masks despite them having masks in their pockets.”

“No infringement notices were issued during his inspections,” Themba said.

Cele’s visit comes just after Health Minister Zweli Mhkizi visited Rands and Cubaña in Green Point. His visit follows growing concern of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases reported mostly along the Garden Route and in the Cape Town metro.

The next few days are crucial for the province as holidaymakers prepare to make their way to various destinations. Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said he has concerns that locals may ignore Covi-19 regulations.

Bredell said: “We must urge compliance. The rules are there for a reason. The facts are also quite clear: Covid infections are on the increase and our hospitals are filling up. This is not in dispute. If we want to have a pleasant and healthy festive season, we need to all be more responsible.”

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “We have to emphasise the need for cool heads and accountability this festive season, particularly in light of the second wave of Covid-19 infections. Cape Town needs hospital beds to deal with the sharp increase in Covid-19 infections. We can ill afford a spike in patients linked to irresponsible behaviour on our roads, and to alcohol consumption.”

Cape Argus

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