Cele accompanied by his Deputy and National Police Commissioner visited different pension pay-points in the KwaMashu and Inanda townships, north of Durban.
Long queues and lack of social distancing were seen outside some collection points as thousands of beneficiaries flocked to collect their social grants.
Cele says police have been forced to ensure compliance.
“It’s the fourth day today. So, it is something new. It’s something that people themselves are geared on that matter. It is both persuasion and a little bit of a push towards the proper direction. It is unfortunate that the number of people that we are arrested is going up. Yesterday, we had 227 incidents. Out of those, nationally, we have arrested 1108. We would not wish to arrest so many people. But in three days, we arrested 1108; Western Cape 255 alone. We will continue to do that to nudge them towards compliance. But it will be better if people are listening and complying, but we will push them when the need comes to respect the law. The regulations that are there. They must be respected.”
The Police Minister also assessed compliance at one of the supermarket chain stores in KwaMashu where pensions were being paid. He says although the retailer observed the lockdown regulations, he is concerned about the long queues and lack of social distancing.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Development has urged beneficiaries whose grants are deposited into a personal bank account to avoid going to withdraw their money, as it is safe in their accounts.
Social grant beneficiaries in Mpumalanga have called on authorities to help enforce measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 at pay-points.
In the video below, beneficiaries voice their frustrations: