The City of Johannesburg recorded an increase in traffic volume as national lockdown restrictions were eased to level 4 on Friday.
City of Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo said they were expecting an influx of people heading back to many parts of the City.
Makhubo joined JMPD officers at a roadblock at the Grasmere Toll Plaza, where he observed many vehicles from other parts of the country entering the outskirts of the city.
“This event is a public awareness, where we remind people to obey physical distance and to wash their hands regularly. Johannesburg is the epicentre of coronavirus in Gauteng. We thought we must come here, not only to arrest, but to raise awareness.
“It is important to recognise that coronavirus is here and it kills. We are seeing traffic increasing with many people going to work and to other parts of Johannesburg,” he said.
Makhubo reminded employers to give their employees who would be returning to work new permits, so they could travel backwards and forwards.
“We are still in a lockdown. It is just level 4 and we are opening up the economy a bit. They must comply. Every person on the road must have a permit… there is curfew from 08:00 to 17:00.”
Acting JMPD head Sipho Dlepu urged his officers not to arrest people who didn’t have permits between 1 May and 7 May.
“In terms of level 4, people coming from other provinces without permits, please don’t arrest them. After 7 May, people who will be coming from other provinces without permits – you must arrest them for contravening the lockdown regulations.
“From today onward, you can’t be on the road without a mask. The department is providing officers with masks. Officers can’t stop people on the road for not wearing masks, while they don’t wear masks as officers,” said Dlepu.
He called on his officers to be extra cautious when checking vehicles, as many people were engaged in human trafficking and transporting prohibited items like cigarettes and alcohol.