Some Masiphumelele residents, near Fish Hoek, in Cape Town are outraged that their streets are still full of people, despite a nationwide lockdown that came into effect at midnight on Thursday.

Community worker Matilda Fakazi says the army was there for a short time but when it left, the drinking continued and children came out to play in the streets.

“As long as my neighbours are not putting the measures into place for us to safeguard each other from coronavirus. I will still be exposed since my neighbourhood is full of people who are not even adhering to staying at home because people seem not to care at all about this. I really feel scared and I fear for my life.”

In the video below, South Africans defy lackdown directives. 

Arrests in Mpumalanga

More than 20 people have been arrested in Mpumalanga for alleged non-compliance with the lockdown regulations. Community Safety MEC Gabsile Shabalala and Police Provincial Commissioner Mondli Zuma were in Ermelo to observe first hand if people are complying with the rules of the lockdown.

Zuma says all those who disobey the call will be arrested. “We are in the region of 20 to 25 people that we have arrested. we are busy with operations in the arteries that come into the province and out. We are also manning roadblocks. In some instances we have got teams that are around the townships which are joined forces between the SANDF and the South African Police Service.”

The residents’ concerns come as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected 1 187 South Africans.

While many have been calling for the Security Cluster to be strict on those flouting the rules of the lockdown, some citizens say they have no option but to leave their homes to feed their families.

SABC News Reporter Thabiso Sithole and Cameraman Thabo Madilola filed this report from Soweto in Johannesburg.

Only one person has succumbed to the virus that still has no cure. Among the infected are nurses and doctors, with one of them currently in the Intensive Care Unit.

Help for the homeless

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town says homeless people will be screened for COVID-19 before being allowed into the centres that the local government is setting up for them.

The city is currently erecting tents in about six centres around the greater Cape Town area to house about 6 000 homeless people in order to comply with the lockdown regulations.

Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health Zahid Badroodien says there’s been no resistance from the street people to move to these centres.

“From my engagements with homeless people they’ve been excited, very willing and keen to come to our safe space because they clearly appreciate the urgency about COVID-19. So as the city our responsibility is to make available the locations to access safe space. I’ve explained to them that even before coming to these centres that there will be a screening process.”

Du Noon and Kosovo to be de-densified

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements has welcomed National Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu’s announcement that the Du Noon and Kosovo informal settlements, on the Cape Flats, will be de-densified.

Temporary alternative accommodation will be offered to the affected residents.

The province also welcomed Minister Sisulu’s confirmation water tanks will be provided where required.

A statement from the province says this will assist in combating the spread of COVID-19 and helps with social distancing.