Johannesburg - Police Minister Bheki Cele has hit out at the Western Cape government for implementing "provincial regulations" which differ from the State of Disaster regulations set out by national government.
The minister was speaking at a press conference in Pretoria, where the National Coronavirus Command Council was giving feedback after the government published amended regulations to the state of disaster.
The Western Cape government this week announced that it would relaxing a ban on selling tobacco products and would be allowing customers in that province to buy cigarettes with their groceries.
Cele said the 24 000 police officers who were deployed around the country would follow regulations as signed by Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and no ‘so-called provincial regulations’, he said.
“These regulations are national regulations. There are no provincial regulations or regional regulations. What is done in Limpopo must be done in the Western Cape.
“The police will not implement the so-called provincial regulations. Please don’t do it. Stick to what is signed by the national minister,” said Cele.
Cele said the sale of cigarettes were not allowed anywhere in the country.
"There is no province that has a special dispensation out of the regulations that have been signed by the minister. If it is not in the national regulations, it is not allowed to happen. For now, cigarettes are not sold. That includes the Western Cape," said Cele.
He urged business to ignore what had been said in the province and only follow what was contained in the regulations as signed by Dlamini Zuma.
Cele said if the Western Cape government wanted to make changes to the regulations, they should make a presentation to the National Coronavirus Command Council and not make piecemeal changes as they wished.
Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said cigarettes were not allowed to be sold.
"If goods are not in the regulations, it means they are not allowed. Until they are in the regulations, it means they are not allowed," she said.