‘Please obey the rules’

Beach Road in Sea Point was quiet on Friday March 27, the first day of the national 21-day lockdown.

On the first day of the 21-day national lockdown implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Green Point, Sea Point, Camps Bay and Bo-Kaap all looked like ghost towns.

On Monday night March 23, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown would be in place from midnight on Thursday March 26 to midnight on Thursday April 16.

On day 1, only a few vehicles, mostly security and police vans, could be seen on the roads.

By the time this edition went to print, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country stood at 1 353 cases with five deaths recorded.

Sea Point police station commander, Colonel Helena Mouton, said while most residents obeyed the president’s call to stay indoors, over the past weekend they had, however, encountered residents who were leaving their houses for non-essential purposes.

“We request that people stay within the regulations as set in the Government Gazette as to when you are allowed to leave your home. When one travels through a roadblock or vehicle checkpoint please keep any proof as to where you are going handy, such as scripts for medicine or doctor’s appointments, message to collect medicine and IDs,” she said.

Colonel Mouton added that residents must make use of the shops, pharmacies or doctors closest to their place of residence.

On Sunday morning a photo of two people jogging on the Promenade was shared on social media. The couple were stopped by the police and instructed to go home.

“People cannot jog on the Promenade or any other area open to the public nor walk your dog, just because there is no one else in sight,” said Colonel Mouton.

She said they had received numerous calls and complaints about the homeless who were still on the streets. The homeless, she added, were encouraged not to move around while the City set up temporary safe spaces to house them.

She urged the members of the public to not make non-essential trips to the police station for certifications or police clearance applications which could be delayed until after the lockdown period.

She said while they were operating as an essential service during lockdown, they were working without most of their clerical staff, which meant many officers were “tied down with operational demands”.

“Remember that the members here also try to limit contact with people and that we have families to return to after each shift. The reporting of crime as our core business will carry on. Please make our task a bit easier by complying to the lockdown rules and regulations,” she said.

The Sea Point Central Improvement District said that while they were “saddened by the silence” of their usually buzzing business area “we are delighted that our community have adhered to the rules and regulations set out by the president”.

“Most importantly we would like to thank every single man and woman working in security, medical or who are working to ensure our essential systems are still in place,” they said.