WATCH | 'Go home' - police and army personnel enforce lockdown regulations in Khayelitsha

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Law enforcement checking that drivers have the necessary permits to be on the road during the 21 day national lockdown.
Law enforcement checking that drivers have the necessary permits to be on the road during the 21 day national lockdown.

Police and members of the army on Saturday worked together to make sure that the regulations stipulated under the 21-day national lockdown were being adhered to. The lockdown has been effected to try and curb the spread of Covid-19.

In Khayelitsha, Cape Town, the armed forces did a walk through, checking that drivers had permits allowing them to be on the road. They also checked the number of passengers per car and made sure that people were not out roaming the streets without reason. Echoes of "go home" could be heard along the streets.

There is no "skop and donner" anymore Police Minister Bheki Cele said to police and army personnel at the 35 Squadron in Belhar, ahead of the operation. He echoed the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who told police officers and army members on the eve of the lockdown, that this is a moment to save lives.

"I send you, I instruct you to go and fight the war against the enemy that we can't see," Cele said to encourage the officials. 

"For your information, even if you thought that it is not an African phenomenon, it has begun to kill people here at home, and here in this city, so it kills," he said.

He emphasised the fact that at present there is no cure or vaccine against Covid-19.

"These are waters that we have never been before, new territories, hard for all of us, hard for the communities, hard for the society, hard for ourselves as the officers who implement the things we have never seen before... The crux of the matter is we're trying to prevent a disaster, a catastrophe," he said.

He warned South Africans to stay indoors adding that if they wanted to be on the roads they'd need to be on "strictly controlled movements".

Taxis run according to specific time slots, 05:00 - 09:00 and 16:00 - 20:00, and have been given specific measures to follow said the minister.

"Any taxi that moves in between is going nowhere... In other places they have been impounded because they do as though nothing has changed," he said.

He admitted that controlling the numbers of people in and around supermarkets has been one of the biggest challenges for law enforcement.

"The major issue we are trying to work on is the queues at the supermarkets," he said.

A new dispensation for the long queues was going to be revealed soon, he assured the officials.

"We have tried to create a social distance outside by asking the supermarkets to provide these trolleys so people can have this kind of distance but we have agreed that this is one challenging area that we have to fix and fix it quickly," he said.

Cele said that more than 250 people had been arrested in the Western Cape since the lockdown began at midnight on Thursday.

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