WATCH: Social distancing braai on street corners causes a stir
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Cape Town – A collective social distancing braai that is alleged to have taken place in George in the Western Cape has caused a stir on social media.
Opinion is divided on whether the couples – who are having a braai just outside their homes on different street corners while engaging in conversation, with children playing nearby – are defying the lockdown regulations or whether it's within their rights to do so.
Some deem it just another instance of "white privilege" being exercised, with the majority of South Africans having to contend with coping in confined spaces for 21 days.
In many instances in the country, people are forced on to the streets to look for food – let alone have a braai – nor do they have the luxury of bigger yards and rooms the middle class enjoy.
@Zwelitunes posted on Twitter: "White people are so selfish. They were the ones who brought this virus here by ignoring early warnings and travelling to high risk countries for holiday. Now they mock our efforts as a nation fighting this virus, by refusing to stay indoors."
@B_Masihleho held a different view: "I don't see a problem with this. Social distance braai sounds like a plan. Wish we were cool with our neighbours."
Amos Ngoepe concurred, saying: "Sorry but I struggle to see a problem in this. What exactly is that bothers you. Four families, maintaining social distance having a barbecue.
"I can’t condemn it just because the are white. They are at their homes, not walking or endangering anybody else."
Teboho Twala posted: "May we please see this story on TV not only stories coming from townships painting black poor people as being defiant. This is shocking."
Thuli Dlamini said: "This is a complete defiance and disregard of the rule of law. The @GovernmentZA must find them and arrest them!"
Professor Alex Broadbent, who has published an article on the University of Johannesburg website, believes enforcing a countrywide lockdown in equal measure is unfair.
He questioned on EWN at the weekend why the advice of the World Health Organization is the same globally while contexts, particularly in Africa, are different.
"You can lock down a suburb... it's nice and quiet... but I don't think that's the same thing at all as locking down a large township where people are going to sit in their very hot accommodation with a large number of other people.
"We live in countries with a lot of gender-based violence; locking people up without their cigarettes in small rooms with each other is not a recipe to improve that situation... with 10 people in a single accommodation and a toilet 100 metres away," he said.
"There is, in my opinion, no reason to ban daily exercise, and no reason to ban the sale of cigarettes. There is no ban on drinking alcohol and yet you see soldiers smashing bottles in the streets... The ban is on the sale of alcohol.
"I understand it's complicated, but I think it would make life a bit easier if some of the restrictions actually had a direct public health benefit and some of them simply don't seem to."