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Lockdown will have to be extended if people don't stay home, warns deputy police minister

Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 1, 2020

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Kimberley - Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale has warned the national lockdown will have to be extended if people do not remain inside their homes, for the remainder of the 21-day restriction period. 

Addressing SAPS members, military police and members of the South African National Defence Force on Wednesday morning at the Kimberley public library parking lot, Mathale explained that if the country did not manage to "flatten the curve" of the Covid-19 pandemic, there would be “no other option” but to extend the lockdown. 

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“The regulations are non-negotiable. The virus spreads quickly when people move up and down. South Africans must self-isolate for the remainder of the 21 days, in order to fight the virus.” 

He stated the categories of businessallowed to work over the lockdown period were obliged to operate within the framework and stipulated times.

“Taxis and public transport services must only transport commuters at the designated times in the morning and evening and not at any other time.”  

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Mathale told SAPS and SANDF members to “make their presence felt”  and to tighten controls to ensure that the public adhered to the regulations. 

“We rely on you to go out to the communities and fill the streets. We must assist at the malls, and arrive early so that we can control the queues when social grants are paid out. If we arrive late, we will not be able to regulate and observe social distancing if there are a large gatherings.” 

He added that if citizens observed the regulations, they could resume their daily activities. “If we flatten the curve of the pandemic, then South Africa can go back to normal.” 

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Mathale, along with the national commissioner, General Kehla Sitole and SAPS management, will visit a number of Covid-19 lockdown joint operations in the Northern Cape to assess adherence to the regulations. 

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* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's  #Coronavirus trend page

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the government's 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or go to  SA Coronavirus for more information.

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