The KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says they are keeping a close eye on the movement of people in the eThekwini Metro after Level 4 of the national lockdown came into effect on Friday.
The Durban area is the epicentre of the pandemic in KwaZulu-Natal, recording at least 10 new COVID-19 cases a day.
Many fitness fanatics around Durban used the opportunity to move about more freely as lockdown regulations eased from Level 5 to Level 4.
Durban CBD saw long queues of shoppers who went out for their essential goods, some adhering to the wearing of masks rule.
In the video below, eThekwini sees a strong police presence to ensure Level 4 lockdown regulations compliance:
Some towns like Isipingo, south of Durban, still saw a high number of people compared to others.
Hawkers and formal businesses, including those selling non-essential items, are still trading normally.
The Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Spokesperson, Kwanele Ncalane, says there is police visibility in the area as police have arrested over 4 000 people for breaking lockdown laws.
“The only challenge there, is that we’ve got many supermarkets. Therefore, the neighbouring settlements in Uganda, Folweni, Makhutha, and many others, are preferring to go buy in those shops because of their price range. Now that is creating a lot of congestion, a lot of queues and that is why it seems there is an uncontrollable movement of people in that area. But the MEC engaged with the shop owners and they agreed that they will enforce physical distance and provide all necessary PPEs for their customers.”
In the video below, the government releases Level 4 regulations guidelines:
Beachfront promenade to open
Meanwhile, the Durban’s beachfront promenade will be open under Level 4 of the national lockdown. The area is popular with cyclists, runners, dog walkers and for general outdoor activity.
eThekwini Municipality says the process of sanitising and disinfecting the promenade has already begun.
Spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela says it is only open to residents residing within a 5-km radius to use between 06:00 and 09:00 in the morning.
“We are going to open the promenade tomorrow (Sunday), but we will only going to succeed to ensure that there is law and order only if our residents are working with us. We would like to also state that our ablution facilities will remain closed and that’s of cardinal importance that our residents have that in mind and they must also ensure that those who are using the promenade are living within the 5km radius, which is in accordance with the regulations of COVID-19.”
Health MEC Simelane-Zulu says if the situation worsens, they will appeal to the President to revert back to the previous and stricter Level 5.
“Depending on how the community itself is behaving, we’ll consider requesting the President and the Minister to take us back to Level 5. eThekwini metro in particular, we are a bit worried about the movement of our people there in particular; we are really keeping a close eye on what happens in the next few days so that in a week or so if it’s necessary for us to re-assess that is the recommendation we will take back to the President and the National Minister.”
The Department of Transport says they will continue to make sure that there’s maximum adherence and enforcing the operational hours and time that have been set for people and public transport.
Below is an infographic on Level 4 lockdown regulations: