Nineteen KwaZulu-Natal residents who allegedly committed violations during the national state of disaster are being investigated by the police, Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Tuesday.
“They undermined and breached [the national state of disaster] regulations. We are going to investigate these cases strongly,” he added.
Zikalala was addressing a contingent of media following the national lockdown declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa which will come into effect from Thursday at midnight.
Thus far, South Africa has registered 554 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with the vast majority in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Zikalala said most of the cases were people gathering despite being asked not to by the government.
“The cases are people who continued their gatherings irrespective of the regulations and directives. Some of them went to public areas that were already closed. We are going to ensure these cases are followed.”
He said he was pleased with the work done by the police to nab the offenders.
“We are happy that before the lockdown, the police and [eThekwini] metro were very strong in monitoring the beaches. They were quite effective.”
Durban residents were captured over the weekend enjoying time with their families on the popular beachfront.
This despite eThekwini Metro Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda prohibiting bathing on Durban’s beaches.
Zikalala said, together with the military, the police would be able to monitor offenders.
“We have to understand that this is not a holiday or just something we are doing. This is a global virus and we want to get it under control. We are satisfied that the military deployment will assist us.”
Zikalala added most of the Covid-19 cases in the province were in Durban.
“Of the 554 infections, 80 cases have been confirmed, including three in the Amajuba District, 45 in the eThekwini Metro, four in the Ugu District, five in the Umgungundlovu District and one in the uMkhanyakude District.”