Article by: Khanyi Moshia
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday, the 23rd of March 2020 where he announced the official national lockdown in order to contain the spread of the virus. Some people were pleased with the President’s call to lock the country down, while others were concerned and worried about their new reality.
So what exactly is the lockdown about? Read more as we answer a few frequently asked questions about what the lockdown is all about.
What is a lockdown?
In this case, a lockdown is an emergency protocol posed by the government that requires all South Africans to stay at home, unless they’re essential services workers or they have to acquire essentials for their homes.
Why do we have a lockdown?
With the number of the Coronavirus cases increasing exponentially, it is critical that all citizens stay at home so the government can try to contain the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve” (stop the number of cases from increasing).
The purpose of this lockdown is to prevent the spread of the virus in order to save the lives of all South Africans.
Which services are available during lockdown?
As much as non-essential activities are suspended during the lockdown, citizens can still get around for essential services like:
- buy groceries
- Seek medical care
- Access banking services
- Visit pharmacies
- Collect their social grant, and
- Get petrol
Can we go to work?
Unless you work for a company that provides essential services as mentioned above, or companies that produce and transport food, medical supplies and basic goods – unfortunately you cannot go to work as movement is very limited.
What happens during an emergency?
If you’re in need of emergency services like visiting the clinic or hospital, seeing a doctor, or even going to the pharmacy, then you don’t have to worry because these services will be fully operational.
Should you panic-buy?
The answer is no! Grocery stores will remain open so everyone can get their essentials as, and when they need to.
What happens if you break the rules?
Not adhering to the government’s orders for the lockdown is the same as breaking the law, which means if you are to break the rules, you may be punished with imprisonment for up to a month or a fine.
It is understandable that many South Africans are frustrated and concerned about their livelihoods during the lockdown, but it’s important to remember that we have to work with the government in order to flatten them curve so we can all go back to our normal lives. #StayAtHome
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