Police will have no choice but to act’, says Bheki Cele on lockdown rules
Police minister Bheki Cele has thrown down the gauntlet about lockdown restriction enforcement: “Those who choose to drop the ball” will leave officers with “no choice but to act”.
During a briefing by ministers who serve on the national coronavirus command council, Cele said for the next two weeks it will not be “business as usual” and “law enforcement officers will play a critical role in ensuring mass compliance”.
He said since March 27 last year, 465,098 people had been charged for contravening the Disaster Management Act and 7,439 of them were arrested during last year’s alert level 3.
He confirmed that the military is present in Gauteng but emphasised they are there to provide support to medical workers and are not permitted to get involved in enforcing regulations.
No direct flights to and from India
Regarding criticism that government had allowed passengers from India, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said: “All passengers are screened and told to wear masks and we have been advised the aviation sector and airlines are not super-spreaders. We need to balance lives and livelihoods and people still need to travel for the sake of the economy.”
He said SA does not have direct flights to or from India so it was a moot point.
People who come here from India come via other countries and are subjected to the same regulations in terms of having a Covid-19 test,” he said.
Income support under discussion
Regarding industry, employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi said the department is “finalising a rapid response plan to inspect workplaces across provinces for compliance with health and safety”.
Regarding temporary employee/employer relief scheme (Ters) payments for industries that have had to shut down again, he said “social partners will engage at Nedlac this week to thrash out income support, I do not want to pre-empt what comes out in discussions on Thursday”.
These details come in the wake of a briefing by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night in which he announced the country was moving to alert level 4 for two weeks from June 28.
He outlined the rationale for the change in alert levels, saying the Delta variant of the coronavirus was causing havoc with infections shooting up rapidly, especially in Gauteng, and hospitals were becoming overwhelmed.
The Delta variant has also been detected in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
Among the rules he announced were that all gatherings were prohibited, booze was banned again, the curfew was being moved to 9pm, and no more than 50 people could attend a funeral.
He also said on Sunday that leisure travel in and out of Gauteng was prohibited and restaurants across the country would no longer be allowed to accommodate seated customers and could only provide takeaways and deliveries.
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