The SA Police Service (SAPS) has clarified that South Africans citizens will not be allowed to take walks themselves, walk with their dogs or go jogging even if they live in closed estates or complexes and confine their movements to these areas.
Many middle- to upper-class South Africans live in sectional title estates, from apartment buildings with gardens around them to golf estates and other estates.
In the first few days of lockdown, most body corporates had told their residents that they would be allowed to move freely within these privately owned areas, provided they observed social distancing.
Reports had previously suggested government had banned only jogging and dog walking on public streets, but that these activities could still continue within private estates and complexes.
That now appears to be a thing of the past.
The police said in a statement: “Following several enquiries about residents being able to walk or jog within their security estates/complexes, the regulations also apply to people living within estates/complexes meaning NO walking, jogging or walking of pets within closed estates/complexes is allowed.
“All estate/complex managers must assist by ensuring that these regulations are enforced with immediate effect. The fundamental purpose of lockdown is to drastically reduce the movement of people in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Your assistance in this regard will be highly appreciated.”
RT #sapsHQ Important notice – Security Estates. The Regulations also apply to people living within estates/complexes meaning NO walking, jogging or walking of pets within closed estates/complexes is allowed. #21DaysLockdown #COVID19 #StayAtHomeSA MEhttps://t.co/LT0djYdX4f pic.twitter.com/teMNmb0Je5
— SA Police Service ???????? (@SAPoliceService) March 29, 2020
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Eias Mawela had earlier said in a Gauteng provincial command council briefing that they had established a response team to deal with people not adhering to lockdown regulations. He revealed that Gauteng police had arrested 148 people and issued warnings to 25 people.
They had identified 43 major and secondary roads with high volumes and had prioritised 11 roads leading to other provinces to ensure no traffic was allowed through unless it was for essential goods.
“We will employ 24/7 lockdown roadblocks supported by SANDF,” he said.
He called on people to respect and recognise lockdown regulations as they had observed numerous instances of people continuing the now illegal trade in liquor and getting together in streets gatherings, particularly in informal settlements. He said the police were still trying to educate the public but were getting close to applying zero tolerance against those disregarding the lockdown regulations.
He issued a warning against those who continued to drink and party in defiance of the lockdown.
The police would be providing support to safeguard social grant pay points amid news that taxis and buses will be allowed to operate over most of the day this week to transport grant recipients.
“There will be a high movement of cash in Gauteng and we are alive and ready to protect the cash movement,” he said.
Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, is appealing to South Africans to obey the regulations of #21dayLockdown. For more, watch #DStv403 or visit https://t.co/srSwp4H5Hm pic.twitter.com/FOtR0XWovU
— eNCA (@eNCA) March 29, 2020
Gauteng premier David Makhura had earlier said that shopping centres in the townships and shopping malls were problem areas during the lockdown, with far too many people congregating in too many locations.