SUMMARY: Ministers outline plans for nationwide lockdown

Cabinet ministers responsible for safety and justice will outline their plans for the 21-day nationwide lockdown. They are expected to tell the nation what their respective departments will be doing to enforce regulations.

JOHANNESBURG - The cabinet ministers responsible for safety and justice outlined their plans for the 21-day nationwide lockdown on Wednesday.

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the law compels South Africans to stay at home with the exception for survival.

The minister said funeral services would be allowed but would be limited to 50 people.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola said courts will remain open to deal with serious matters of the law and criminal cases, measures will be put in place for the postponement of cases.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele said places of religious worship, culture, sporting, entertainment and organisation will be closed. 

Only essential goods will be sold, the minister said and emphasised the sale of liquor would be prohibited.

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Cele refuted previous reports that people would be allowed to walk their dogs and jog.

The minister said people would not be allowed to leave their properties.

Cele said "it's not a fairytale to say the law will act and act very harshly on you."

He called on South Africans to stay sober during the lockdown period to restrict assault, road deaths, and injuries, to alleviate the pressure on medical staff.

Cele acknowledged there may be an increase in the abuse of women and children and urged people to report cases of abuse to a toll-free hotline number: 0800 150 150.

He advised that other crimes still be directed to 10111.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the national lockdown is not meant to punish the country but to protect people.

READ: SANDF preparing to support police during lockdown 

Mapisa-Nqakula said misinformation about the SANDF deployment has been circulating on social media but the SANDF has not been deployed.

The minister said the SANDF will be assisting the police with roadblocks, enforce curfews and road closures.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi started his address by debunking various instances of fake news and said in some cases the fake news is more dangerous than the virus.

Three people circulating misinformation have been identified and the minister said they will be charged.

Motsoaledi said 35 border posts had been closed but all will be closed once the lockdown is implemented besides the movement of goods.

Home Affairs will be operated on a skeleton staff and will only be able to issue three kinds of documents: temporary IDs, replacement birth certificates, and death certificates.

READ: At least a million South Africans could contract COVID-19

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula related the transport restrictions which affect both public and private transportation.

All long-distance passenger rail services, commuter rail services, and international and domestic flights will be shut down.

Only essential air cargo will be allowed into the country and if the cargo is from a high-risk country it will be sanitized.

Mbalula said taxis will be allowed to transport essential services workers and those allowed to make the necessary permitted movements.

These transport movements will be allowed to operate from 05h00 to 09h00 and again from 16h00 to 20h00.

Metered taxis and e-hailing vehicles will be allowed to transport essential services workers and those allowed to make the necessary permitted movements.

Source
eNCA