NATIONAL LOCKDOWN: President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on members of the South African National Defence Force to discharge their duties during the nationwide lockdown with respect and humility. He addressed the SANDF at the Doornkop army base in Johannesburg yesterday evening, ahead of the 21-day lockdown, which came into effect at midnight last night. Ramaphosa says citizens are placing a lot of confidence and trust in both the SANDF and the police during this difficult time. Ramaphosa also added that at this time people are fearful, doubtful and concerned but they will be looking to the SANDF for assurance.
Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who also attended the military deployment, says she believes the 21 days lockdown will have the expected effect of curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chaos erupted at the Marabastad taxi rank in Pretoria this morning after hundreds of commuters were forced out of taxis by police and law enforcement for breaking the proximity rule as set out under the national lockdown regulations. Under the government’s new emergency legislation, taxis are only allowed to travel from 05:00 to 09:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00 with only half of their load per trip. Only essential workers may be transported. Police warn that failure to do so may result in arrest or the issuing of a fine.
The DA will write to Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane to request that she makes urgent representations to her colleagues to amend the lockdown regulations in order to include food and grocery delivery services. It says the regulations do not take into consideration people who are unable to physically go to places that supply food. According to the DA, allowing food delivery could also decrease the movement of people to and from shops.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has called on the government to protect workers from the economic impact of the national lockdown. The union says labour was not consulted within the discussions leading to the decision of the national lockdown. President Cyril Rmaphosa admitted that the lockdown would affect the economy in a negative way but it is necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Phakamile Hlubi Majola of NUMSA says the government needs to make sure that workers are paid during this period.