Kids playing soccer on a open field close to Dunoon. Authorities are struggling to keep people indoors during the lockdown in the province. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Kids playing soccer on a open field close to Dunoon. Authorities are struggling to keep people indoors during the lockdown in the province. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The small Western Cape town where lockdown rules are ignored

By Odwa Mkentane Time of article published Apr 1, 2020

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Cape Town – Residents in the town of Haarlem in the Western Cape say the lockdown is not being taken seriously due to a lack of visible policing and information.

Five days into the nationwide lockdown, resident David Huddleston said you wouldn’t know this was the case in the village 16km east of Avontuur and 29km south-east of Uniondale, in the Langkloof, near Plettenberg Bay.

Huddleston said it was business as usual with no sign of observance of the lockdown or enforcement. 

“This is an apple farming community so some can still work. They gather in large groups outside our house at 6am to wait for the truck, as usual.

“People with livestock on other people’s land still make their rounds. When one person walks to the shop for supplies, two to four go along. People wander the streets visiting neighbours and friends.

“Police presence... is non-existent. No patrols, no enforcement at shops, no police visibility.

“We called George police to report lockdown violations but they could not be reached. People carrying hitch-hikers arrive in bakkies in the early hours. The situation is out of control.”

The police said officers would be sent to Haarlem to enforce the lockdown.

Provincial Health’s Mark van der Heever said: “We ramped up our ‘Let’s stop the spread’ campaign; have run radio ads... distributed millions of SMSes.”

Cape Times

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