As we prepare for lockdown, who is still required to work and what is expected of the public?

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In a matter of hours, South Africa will undergo a nationwide lockdown for a total of 21-days. This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on March 23.

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa rising to 709, the lockdown has become a matter of national security. With over 473 300 confirmed cases worldwide and more than 21 300 reported deaths around the globe, South Africans are urged to take the lockdown as seriously as possible.

According to the Department of Health, the nation-wide lockdown is necessary to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission, as it will prevent the spread of the virus.

Anyone breaking the rules of the lockdown can face imprisonment or a hefty fine.

What will you be able to do?

  • You will be able to seek medical assistance.
  • Buy groceries.
  • Visit the pharmacy.
  • Access banking services.
  • Get petrol.
  • Collect your social grant.

When doing any of these, ensure you do not take any detours. Also, always carry your ID and Drivers Licence when going out.

Furthermore, if you are stopped at a roadblock, remain calm and patient. Law enforcement is following orders in order to minimise the transmission of COVID-19.

What can you not do?

  • Jogging in public is prohibited.
  • You will not be allowed to walk your dog in public.
  • You will not be allowed to buy alcohol or cigarettes.
  • All gatherings have been prohibited
  • Movement between provinces has been prohibited.
  • Movement between districts is prohibited.

During his address to the nation on March 23, President Ramaphosa said there will be certain companies which will remain open during the 21-day lockdown.

These are companies which are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, explains that Grocery stores, supermarkets and spaza shops will remain open. However, Patel calls on all South Africans to limit to shopping centres for food and basic goods only.

Patel elaborates further and explains there are a number of categories of essential services which will be operational during the lockdown.

These include essential staff in the following areas:

  • Those responsible for essential care of the elderly and sick persons, including homecare and old-age homes.
  • Essential private security services for the protection of both property and people.
  • All essential back-office services to enable salary and human resource departments to work, as to ensure smooth management of wage and salary payments.
  • Essential animal welfare and emergency veterinary services.
  • Those who assist in transporting food and other essentials to people’s homes, including online retail, as well as transport systems who support any of the essential services.
  • Key maintenance systems required at workplaces to avoid damage to economic assets, where the interruption of that service will destroy critical working areas, such as factories or machinery.
  • Members of Parliament, Provincial Legislature, Municipal councils and their core staff.
  • Members of the media and broadcasting services, who will serve as a vital communication between the government and the public.
  • Transportation of fuel, food and basic goods supply trucks.

During the lockdown, South Africans are urged to abide by the measures. By staying at home, you can save the lives of those around you.

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