With the national 21-day lockdown due to start at midnight on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa has roped in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the police to ensure maximum compliance. Announcing the lockdown on Monday evening to an anxious and battered nation, Ramaphosa said the shutdown was necessary to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission across society.
“I have accordingly directed the South African National Defence Force be deployed to support the South African Police Service in ensuring that the measures we are announcing are implemented,” he said. The SANDF was already seen in the streets of densely populated Johannesburg in Gauteng (the province leading with infections) and in a statement, its top brass later confirmed that they were preparing to help in the fight against the Covid-19 virus battle.
The two security services groups will be able to move around as Ramaphosa announced that together with other essential services workers, they will be allowed to continue to do their work as they have done since March 15 when the first measures to curb the spread of the virus were announced.
“The categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown are the following: health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said at the beginning of his speech.
In other news – LIVESTREAM – President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on COVID-19
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on COVID-19. On Sunday, the president met with ministers and business about the effects of coronavirus on our country.
As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in South Africa, government is stepping up efforts to enforce the state of national disaster. Several party leaders also addressed the media, urging South Africans not to panic. Read more