#SALockdown – At midnight on Thursday 26 March, South Africa entered an unprecedented period in its history, a complete lockdown of the country. The days leading up to the lockdown were shrouded in uncertainty as citizens grappled with an influx of information.

South African’s received detailed clarification by South African Police Minister Bheki Cele on 25 March after the South African Security Cluster met. He said in no uncertain terms that those not abiding by the regulations set out in the Disaster Management Act during the South African Lockdown would face jail time or a fine or both. The regulations laid out have been gazetted and all citizens of South Africa are expected to abide.

The #SALockdown is aimed at flattening the curve for the spread of the novel coronavirus in South Africa. The curve is essentially the fine line between the rate of infections and what the South African health system can in reality handle.

Essential Services

Services deemed essential in South Africa including health care, food deliveries, media, emergency services, banking, and essential municipal services are listed by the government as essential services.

The full list can be found here.

You’re not allowed to:

  • Gather in groups. This includes meeting on public roads, on premises either business or private. You are also not allowed to gather outside supermarkets unless you are there to buy groceries.
  • Buy or transport alcohol. The movement of alcohol from one premises to another has also been prohibited.
  • Walk dogs and jog in the streets. Police Minister Bheki Cele reiterated this on Thursday night stating that if you need to walk your dog, you should walk it around your house.
  • Buy Cigarettes. There will be no tobacco products on sale during the lockdown period.
  • Travel to other provinces. All travel between provinces and districts was stopped at midnight on Thursday.
  • Access to parks, markets, and public swimming pools. Access to bars, shebeens, nightclubs, churches, and casinos has also been prohibited. Guesthouses, hotels, and lodges have been closed unless you were already there at the time the lockdown was implemented. You are not allowed to visit shopping malls unless you are there to buy groceries from supermarkets or pharmacies.

You’re allowed to:

  • Leave your home to buy food essentials from a spaza shop or supermarket. Karaglen SuperSpar will be open daily from 8am to 6pm to allow shoppers to buy essential food items. Karaglen will not allow anyone to buy clothing, fast foods, cigarettes or liquor during the lockdown period.
  • Get your social grants. You are allowed to leave your home to receive grants. Grants will be ready for payout from 30 March and can be accessed from banks and retailers.
  • Seek medical advice. Essential medical services will be open and you will be allowed to visit a doctor and pharmacy for medical assistance or medical supplies. Please remember to call your healthcare provider ahead of time to find out the correct procedure for arrivals. Pharmacies will also be subject to stringent operating hours, make sure to check with your pharmacy, what their hours of operation are.
  • Have access to public transport. Employees deemed to be essential, as well as members of the public, will have access to public transport during certain hours only. These will be from 5am to 9am and again from 4pm to 8pm. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has stated that public transport priority will be given to those working in the essential services sector.