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Covid-19 lockdown regulations need refining, says JP Smith

Lockdown, Day 1. The City of Cape Town is calling on the national government to refine the lockdown regulations to make implementation easier for the police and military. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Lockdown, Day 1. The City of Cape Town is calling on the national government to refine the lockdown regulations to make implementation easier for the police and military. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 30, 2020

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Cape Town - In order to be able to give effective enforcement of the Disaster Management Act regulations pertaining to Covid-19, or the lockdown regulations as people are referring to them as, the City is calling on the national government to refine the regulations to make implementation easier for the police and military.

This comes from JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security, who said that currently, any person found on the street may plausibly claim to be out for the purposes of shopping for food.

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"It is impossible for the police, whether SAPS, SANDF, Metro Police or Law Enforcement, to truthfully determine whether a person is entitled to be on the street or not. The City is therefore calling for the national government to amend the regulations to limit the hours of shopping at shopping malls as well as spaza and tuck shops to the hours of 9 am to 1 pm daily as everybody will have had the chance to undertake their necessary shopping once the grant recipients have drawn their grant payments. 

"We also call on them to limit the number of people who may be out to shop on any day to specific surnames who may be out on any given day or some other provision in the regulations to make regulations more helpful for the police to be able to improve the situation on the streets," Smith said.

Smith said that the City is also calling for the national government to reconsider their stance on the deployment of the neighbourhood watches.

"There are thousands of well-trained neighbourhood watches in Cape Town who would be able to continue doing the good work they do every day in fighting crime, as we have already seen criminals changing their modus operandi to take advantage of the lockdown. 

"These NHWs would also be able to assist as credible messengers to encourage communities to comply with the regulations and stay indoors – something it has become clear that we do not have nearly enough enforcement resources to achieve without the help of civil society. 

"The deployment could be limited to just the NHWs who have received accreditation from the Provincial Department of Community Safety and who we know are trained and vetted," he said.

Cape Argus

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