Roadblocks to continue during Level-3: Mapisa-Nqakula

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Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says roadblocks will continue to ensure regulations are adhered to. Addressing the briefing in Pretoria on the adherence to the regulations, Mapisa-Nqakula says every citizen must still adhere to the regulations of social distancing, wearing a mask in public and constant hand sanitising or washing.

South Africa will enter Level-3 lockdown from 1 June. Most workers will be allowed to return to their jobs. However, the movement of persons is still restricted except for essential service workers and employees of industries that are reopening.

The movement between provinces is still prohibited for most people except for those travelling for business, funeral-goers, learners and students. Permits are required for such travellers.

Under this level, alcohol sales, including online sales for private consumption will be allowed from Monday to Thursday only between nine in the morning and five in the evening.  People are allowed to exercise between six in the morning and six in the evening.

Religious meetings will be allowed but no more than 50 people may attend.

The briefing on Level-3 regulations: 

Sale of tobacco 

Police Minister Bheki Cele has reiterated his views that police have the right to request a cigarette sales receipt from citizens who are seen smoking during the lockdown. Cele made a similar comment recently and was widely criticised for it. The sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products remains banned as the country moves into Level-3 of the lockdown on Monday.

Cele has briefed the media in Pretoria on the adherence to the regulations. He says more than 235 000 people have been arrested since 27 March for contravening the lockdown regulations.

He says the areas with the highest number of coronavirus infections also register the most number of arrests, showing, that non-compliance leads to the spread of the virus.

On the same issue, AfriForum has given Co-operative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma until 1 June to respond to its legal papers regarding the continued ban on the sale of cigarettes. AfriForum has served Dlamini-Zuma, who leads the National Coronavirus Command Council, with legal papers to revoke the ban or face court action.

There has been criticism over the decision to allow for the sale of alcohol and yet extend the ban on tobacco.

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association has also taken government to court over the matter and the Tobacco Transformation Alliance has called for an inquiry into alleged links between illicit tobacco traders and high profile politicians.

AfriForum argues that the continued ban is unjustifiable and a limitation of people’s basic freedoms.

“In our letter, we state that we regard this ban as irrational. We are also very much concerned about wide-spreading rumours about the minister’s alleged connections with people in the underground who illegally sell tobacco products and so forth. We need an accountable government and we need a government that is able to make rational decisions. We regard these decisions as irrational and an unjustifiable limitation on people’s basic freedoms,” says AfriForum’s Deputy CEO Ernst Roets.

Below are some of the measures that will be in place during Level-3 Lockdown: