Communities around Nkomazi, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mpumalanga, are living in fear of the deadly virus. The Nkomazi Local Municipality has embarked on a campaign to fumigate all public places in response to the growing number of infections in the area.
Testing stations have been set up at shopping centres. Previously, there were reports of some community members refusing to be screened for the virus.
Twenty cases of COVID-19 have so far been reported in the rural municipality. The province has 60 confirmed infections with no deaths.
In the video below, COVID-19 cases continue to grow in Nkomazi as residents violate lockdown laws:
Municipal officials disinfected the Matsamo Plaza in Schoemansdal to fight the spread of the coronavirus. The complex is one of the busy shopping centres in Nkomazi.
Long queues and the non-compliance of the social distancing regulation are the order of the day.
Not all the locals violate the regulations set up to stop the spread of the pandemic. Those that have been out and about claim to be leaving to be trying to make ends meet. The locals have welcomed the municipality’s plan to fumigate public places.
“We are happy because they are fumigating, they should do this more often. They should also fumigate where we stay; we are living in fear because of this virus as it has killed many people. Most of the people here have come to collect their grants; it’s difficult to maintain social distancing.”
In the video below, Nkomazi residents ask authorities to enforce lockdown regulations.
Spokesperson for the Municipality, Cyril Ripinga, says a number of other programmes have been initiated to mitigate the spread of the virus. He says awareness campaigns are being rolled out.
“All the police stations, all the clinics that we have, all the shopping centres that we have in Nkomazi; are being fumigated on daily basis to flatten the curve. We are also transporting the health workers to all the shopping centres where they are supposed to be because we have realised that there is a problem with them carrying out their responsibilities”
The Community Safety, Security and Liaison Department’s Moeti Mmusi says the failure to observe social distancing is a major challenge.
“It’s very important for them to keep the relevant distance such that we have also appealed to business owners and those who own the shops to ensure that those who come to their establishments, they keep the necessary distance by amongst other things; ensuring that they also allow a certain number of people to go inside their shops.”
In the video below, Nkomazi residents are defiant of the social distancing regulation: