Tshwane mayor Randall Williams lauds residents for subdued New Year celebrations
Pretoria - Tshwane Executive Mayor Randall Williams and law enforcement authorities across the province have thanked residents for complying with the national lockdown rules and ushering in the New Year peacefully.
Williams said they were pleased that residents had heeded the call to stay home; as a result the city had a more peaceful and incident-free New Year than in many previous years.
City residents had shown an immense amount of discipline and responsibility, especially in response to the spread of the Covid-19 and the declaration of the capital as a hot spot, Williams said. No major incidents were reported on New Year’s Eve and city streets were largely quiet by 9pm at the start of the new earlier curfew. Tshwane Emergency Services were only called out to a limited number of medical incidents; not the usual accident scenes. More than 1 000 Metro Police officers were deployed across the city to protect residents and enforce the by-laws and national regulations.
The officers were deployed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, to assist police and traffic police on specific focus areas known for large and spontaneous New Year’s gatherings, he said.
Tshwane Community safety and emergency services MMC Karen Meyer commended the Metro Police for ensuring people observed Covid-19 rules.
Meyer said fines range from R1 500 for the failure to wear a mask, R5 000 for the sale, dispensing or transportation of liquor or failure to adhere to the curfew; R1 000 for the consumption of liquor in public places, and R5 000 for businesses failing to close at 8pm as directed or exceeding the prescribed number of employees and customers permitted on the premises. The national police also reported a quieter New Year with just over 630 arrests made across the province, 450 for being out after the curfew. Liquor was also confiscated at various roadblocks. In Tshwane, police closed nine businesses operating after closing time, while three suspects were charged with the illegal sale of fireworks.
Four illegal firearms, four suspected stolen vehicles and a hijacked trailer were recovered during the New Year’s Eve operations in Ekurhuleni.
Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson Simon Zwane said there have been very few incidents of speeding, drunk pedestrians or drunk driving due to the strict alcohol ban.
So far there had only been one major accident between the N4 and N3 where eight people died following a head-on collision.