South African government deployed more than 20 000 traffic offers for lockdown

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The South African government has deployed a total of 22 347 traffic officers across the country, to ensure compliance with the published Regulations and Directions for the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

South Africa went on lockdown on Friday in response to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. “Our National Traffic Police are working closely with the Defence Force and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in enforcing the law at the Beitbridge and the Lebombo border posts,” Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said.

He was updating members of the media on the first day of the lockdown with Ministers who are part of the COVID-19 National Command Council.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) and security personnel from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) patrolled at Park Station.

“We have received a number of reports of non-compliance with the Regulations and Directions governing transport movement during the lockdown period,” the Minister said.

There were reports in Gauteng that a number of taxis were being filled to capacity in violation of the capacity restrictions in the regulations.

“The taxi industry has raised concern relating to the requirement that passengers in a taxi cannot exceed 50% of its legal capacity. We will look into the matter and find a solution that does not undermine the purpose of the lockdown or compromise the principle of social distance,” Mbalula said.

The National Traffic Police and South African Police Service have closed the N1 North from Carousel towards Limpopo, as a measure to enforce compliance. Only essential traffic and commercial vehicles are allowed passage.

“Personnel at our toll plazas are not classified as essential staff and as a consequence, the concessionaires have opened all the toll plazas.

“We have taken note of concerns raised by the industry of limiting the movement of cargo only to essential cargo. We have therefore resolved this matter and all cargo will be allowed passage,” the Minister said.

Government is in the process of issuing new directions covering transitional arrangements relating to drives’ and learners’ licensing issues.

Incidents

A male cyclist was arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Regulations, by cycling on the M1 South freeway near Southgate.

The cyclist told officials that he was attempting to cycle to Cape Town. He was detained at the Mondeor Police Station.

“There are six South African seafarers on a cruise ship, Queen Elizabeth II, currently at anchor in Durban. These South Africans want to disembark and return home. However, our Regulations do not allow crew changes at any of our ports, even if these are South Africans.

“Queen Elizabeth II is waiting for clearance to enter the port in order to refuel and take provisions. This is a matter we are urgently considering,” the Minister said.

Six people died and nine others were injured in a collision on the R56 outside Richmond, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The crash was a head-on collision between a minibus taxi and a truck. It occurred in the early hours of Friday morning, at around 2 am.

The minibus-taxi was from Gauteng and was filled to capacity.

Cape Town International Airport

At Cape Town International Airport, there were three outbound flights destined for Frankfurt in Germany, Zurich in Switzerland and Munich in Germany.

“Unfortunately there were 120 people who could not find seats on any of these flights. The German Consulate was at the airport and provided consular support to their nationals.

“Similarly, 30 British nationals could not find seats on outbound flights and were provided with consular support by the British Consulate,” the Minister said.

British Airways flight from London landed at King Shaka International with 30 South Africans who were escorted by Port Health to the designated quarantine site.

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