LOOK: Durban shops like Black Friday or Christmas Eve.

By Tanya Waterworth Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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Durban - Similar to Black Friday or Christmas Eve. That's how most shoppers described Durban malls today as the final rush to the shops took place ahead of the national lockdown starting at midnight tonight. 

A short while ago, the major freeways were reported to be jammed with traffic as people headed out of the city.

From early this morning, queues formed in most major malls with controlled entrance taking place at major grocery stores, liquor stores, butcheries, chemists and telecomms service providers for last minute internet access deals. While meat was in high demand, so were beer and cigarettes - of which the sale for both is prohibited during the lockdown period.

Taxi ranks in central CBD were jam packed as people queued to get a seat out of the city and by mid-afternoon there was heavy traffic on all major routes.

Taxi commuters told the Independent on Saturday that the army was already gathering outside Moses Mabhida Stadium, but a check showed that as yet, there was no SANDF presence close to the stadium. 

While there was an air of anxiety among many shoppers, there was also a determination to unite as South Africans during the 21-day lockdown which will take place in an effort to quell the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

Some social media users were sharing images of the South African flag under while #nkosisikeleleafrica and #SA21daysofsolidarity.

On Thursday night, police minister Bheki Cele 'read the riot act' to the nation, warning those who do not adhere to the stay at home rules - could face six months in jail, or a fine or both. 

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said that while the SANDF would be deployed to enforce regulations for the lockdown, civilians would not be subject to any form of abuse or violence. 

"The national lockdown is definitely not meant to punish citizens by restricting their movements, but is meant to contain and minimise the spread of this virus," said Mapisa-Nqakula.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 moved jumped to 927 on Thursday according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

The Independent on Saturday

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