Fifty-five people were arrested for contravening regulations on the first day of the national lockdown.
The 21-day lockdown came into effect at midnight, restricting movement to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said the police’s phones were “abuzz” with complaints of people breaking the law.
He was speaking at an inter-ministerial address on Friday.
Working with these “good citizens”, Cele said 55 people were arrested on Friday.
Five people were arrested in the Free State; 20 in Gauteng – six in Alexandra; seven were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal; 10 in Limpopo; and two in the Western Cape.
“These are people who don’t have a good will, people who are doing exactly what they were told not to do,” Cele said.
He added some were arrested for throwing parties and others for public drinking during the lockdown.
On the roads, Cele said there were 172 roadblocks across the country manned by just under 24,000 officers.
The main roadblocks, he said, were on the North West and Gauteng borders, the N1 going to Limpopo and M3 going to KwaZulu-Natal.
“We must remember that what is happening here is not a war against any citizen of the Republic of South Africa, it’s against this enemy called coronavirus.
“But whoever is breaking the law, whoever is not working with South Africans is joining the enemy against the people of SA and we are there to make sure we defend the people,” Cele added.