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By News24 Wire

Wire Service

Thank you to those complying with lockdown, we can concentrate on the others – Smith

The City Of Cape Town is concerned that compliance has been 'extremely' and 'worryingly' low in some areas.

The public has been warned that the Covid-19 coronavirus could “spread like wildfire” in suburbs where life is continuing as normal – in defiance of the national lockdown regulations.

News24 visited several suburbs in Cape Town on Friday to monitor police and law enforcement agencies enforcing the lockdown. This included SAPS-led roadblocks, roving patrols by traffic services and inspections of food trading sites.

In some areas, such as in the suburb of Du Noon, in the Metro’s West Coast area, life on the streets on Good Friday was bustling – with a jovial atmosphere and children playing happily among throngs of pedestrians and groups socialising.

The City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said on the scene: “There is a reasonable degree of compliance in some suburbs, but in others, not so much.”

Low compliance

On the positive side: “In many areas, you’ll see 95% of the people complying, but we are seeing a slow erosion of that compliance. People see others getting away with it, and then try to do so themselves. Especially, we’re seeing more people on the roads.”

But Smith said of concern in some suburbs was that compliance was “extremely, extremely low. Worryingly so.”

“The first infection in that area is going to spread like wildfire. We will drastically have to do something to improve the situation,” he warned.

At the local Joint Operations Centre later, Smith said he would propose a discussion with the SAPS and the military about a “multi-day lockdown” in areas where legislation was not being observed – “to ensure that no one who does not have to be on the streets, is on the streets”.

“We don’t have any ability to even start making a dent [into stopping the spread of the virus] with current levels of non-compliance,” he said.

Roving inception

On the roads, he believed there would need to be “more roving interception” of motorists driving illegally – in addition to the current roadblocks on major arterial routes.

But he also commended Capetonians: “To all the people who are complying: Thank you very much for doing the right thing, staying on target, being responsible – so we can concentrate our resources on those not complying.”

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Cape Town Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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