People in the streets! People queuing and crowding each other! People driving everywhere! These are scenes that greeted The Bulletin on the first few days of the Coronavirus lockdown.
During the GMM JOC meeting Monday morning at the council chambers it became clear that the towns of Lebogang, eMbalenhle and eMzinoni are problem areas with people not adhering to any regulations. There is defiance with residents of these towns.
It does not mean that the towns of Leslie, Kinross, Evander, Secunda and Bethal are off the hook. People are still moving around, far more than they should.
The Honourable Minister of State and Security Ms Ayanda Dlodlo visited Govan Mbeki Municipality on Monday 30 March and expressed her shock at what she saw. SABC news reported that there was no police visibility while people were visiting the shops.
Most businesses adhered to the regulations and either closed for the period or scaled-down. This, however, is only the beginning of the lockdown. If people refuse to adhere to the lockdown regulations the whole country could face extensions of the lockdown.
While stories of police brutality and harassment are continuing to surface it is also very clear that there is a defiance of their authority. A lot of people think that the virus will not affect them while others take every precaution.
The Homeless shelter in Kinross is facing its own challenges. The homeless are used to living out in the open and struggle with the confinements of the shelter. The number of people that are housed in the shelter reached 106 on Monday but are expected to rise as the predictions are that GMM has 500 homeless people.
The authorities are clear on the restrictions. Stay Home. Don’t move unless you have to. This pandemic can be beaten only if everyone does their part.