KZN traffic chief warns drivers not to abuse work permits

2020-04-17 14:00
Msunduzi traffic officers assisting the Comrades Marathon Association to measure out a route to enable a faster, straighter start on this year’s down run.PHOTO: supplied

Msunduzi traffic officers assisting the Comrades Marathon Association to measure out a route to enable a faster, straighter start on this year’s down run.PHOTO: supplied

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A KwaZulu-Natal municipal traffic department chief has warned that if you’re on the road, you better have a good reason and proper documentation.

The acting chief of Msunduzi Municipality, in Pietermaritzburg, Bheki Xulu said action would be taken against those flouting lockdown regulations. He also warned residents to stop abusing work permits during the lockdown.

Xulu said on Thursday their team has arrested over 10 taxi drivers for general disregard of lockdown regulations. She reminded the number of people in the car is limited to half the seating capacity, meaning a passenger car should only have two occupants, the driver and a passenger.

“If there’s a third person, it’s a charge. The driver gets directed to the police station where a docket is opened. Once that is done, the driver remains in the holding cells unfortunately. It’s not usual business where a motorist gets ticketed and then goes,” Xulu warned. He said many people are starting to take chances by claiming that they were an essential service.

Warning

He warned people lying about permits will be fined R5 000. Repeat offenders will be kept in holding cells until their court appearance. If a person argues, hinders obstructs or interferes with any instruction given by the officials at a roadblock, that constitutes a criminal offence. The message is clear, people must stay at home. If you are told that you cannot go through, turn back and accept that. If you don’t, it’s an arrest.

“People must understand that we mean serious business. If you can’t stay at home, you risk getting a criminal record.”

Xulu said the roadblocks in the city are aimed at keeping residents in their respective areas.

“Almost all areas in the city have got shopping malls," he said, adding that there was no need to leave suburbs. 

Xulu said limiting movement is aimed at limiting the spread of the virus. “It is an offence for any person to publish any statement which is misinforming or encouraging any kind of defiance.

Roadblocks

“Telling people that they can go to town is a crime. It’s a serious offence to make any statements about what people should do against what the roadblocks are intended for.”

All roads leading to the CBD are closed at 10:00 and the only exception is made for essential workers.

He said should motorists persist in disregarding the law, the authorities will be forced to close off some roads in areas in and around the city.

“Unless a person is going for medical needs or food, then they are not allowed to pass,” he said.

Parallel to that, Xulu said authorities are also clamping down on shops and taverns illegally selling liquor and cigarettes.

“We have roadblocks in areas where people are selling alcohol and cigarettes illegally. We have sufficient capacity to deal with Pietermaritzburg. We will make sure that the residents don’t get ... infections.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  lockdown  |  coronavirus
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