Durban metro cops to use noise complaints to crack down on house gatherings
Johannesburg - Durban’s eThekwini Metro Police have said they will rely on noise gathering complaints to crack down on house parties and gatherings going forward.
This comes as South Africa entered level three of the lockdown on Monday and with alcohol sales also allowed, police expect an increase in lockdown regulations - including home gatherings, which are not allowed under alert level three of the lockdown.
On Saturday, social media was awash with pictures of citizens gathering at their homes - in some cases, in big groups.
Speaking to IOL on Wednesday, Durban Metro Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Parbhoo Sewerpersad, said they were enforcing the eThekwini Municipality bylaws as well as the lockdown regulations.
He said in the first week since alcohol was allowed to be sold to the public, they had charged a number of outlets that were selling booze after beyond 5pm.
He said to crack down on house gatherings, police would be relying on calls from the public.
“We are going to start looking at the noise levels and noise complaints. We do from time to time have a good few amount of calls of people having house parties, the metro police will act on those contravening bylaws and the regulations,” he said.
Sewerpersad said they were also on the lookout for establishments that sold alcohol outside of the permitted time as stated in the regulations.
Alcohol sales are allowed between Monday and Thursday, from 9am to 5pm.
Meanwhile, the Durban Metro Police said it would not be utilising the breathalyser as a Covid-19 precaution, but from this weekend, they have decided to intensify drink-driving operations.
“We have now intensified our roadblock operations, and as we stated previously that we will not be utilising the breathalyser, that will remain in place, there will still be no breathalyser use,” he said.
He said although the breathalyser would not be in use, police officers had been trained and would use their competencies.
In terms of road accidents in Durban, he said there had been “virtually no fatalities” during level five and four and they had noted minimal traffic volumes.
“We are now seeing a significant increase in terms of traffic on the roads and we must really thank the broader public for being disciplined and respecting the metro police during the level four and five lockdown, and we wish for this continue into level three,” he said.
During level four and five, Sewerpersad said the metro police in eThekwini had arrested about 5000 people for contravening the Disaster Management and it's ensuing regulations.
At the City of Cape Town, Maxine Bezuidenhout, a spokesperson for the traffic service, said as of Wednesday, there has been no incidents yet involving motorists driving under the influence of alcohol.
However there has been a spike in alcohol-related medical emergencies since the unbanning of liquor sales has already affected the province’s response to Covid-19, according to the Western Cape Health Department.
The Johannesburg Metro Police did not respond, but the Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said that the province has recorded 18 alcohol-related deaths this week since the country moved to level 3 of lockdown regulation that was followed by unbanning the sale of alcohol.