NATIONAL NEWS - Minister of Police Bheki Cele has warned the public that they must only consume alcohol at their homes or they will be fined or face jail time.
“Alcohol is allowed to be consumed in private, but it is not allowed to sold or transported. All alcohol sales are currently illegal and public parks will remain closed except for exercising.
“The cluster is urging the public to not buy any alcohol during this time as alcohol is prohibited as convictions will result in fines or jail,” he said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the decision to ban the sale and distribution of alcohol again during his address to the nation on Sunday despite. Alcohol was allowed to be sold under lockdown Level 3 in June.
Cele said the South African Police Service (SAPS) officers would increase roadblocks and introduce random stop and searches to ensure the 9pm to 4am curfew, the ban on alcohol and tobacco sales was adhered to.
He was addressing the media along with the Ministers of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) who serve in the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on government’s further plans to combat the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa.
The minister said the cluster was deeply concerned by the rising numbers of Covid-19.
“We have seen the devastation on lives and business. The cluster is responsible for ensuring people comply with these regulations.
“A number of JCPS cluster officials have tested positive, the good news is that many of them have fully recovered and are back in the front line serving their communities. Their recovery has been largely due to them scrupulously doing what their medical care workers told them to do.
“Intelligence services have been working throughout the pandemic to help track and trace, providing valuable information on trends, patterns and manifestation of Covid-19,” he said.
He said the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has deployed over 60 military health practitioners from various medical disciplines to augment the health response in the Eastern Cape.
Cele reiterated the wearing of face masks or a face covering was mandatory for people when in a public space or they will be committing an offence.
The minister confirmed the department of correctional services recorded a total of 3,688 confirmed Covid-19 cases compromising of 2,203 officials and 1,485 inmates as of 13 July.
He said the number of cases for inmates represented 1.02% of the inmate population.
“We have also recorded 2,235 recoveries, of which 1,231 cases are for inmates.
“Therefore, there are 239 active cases for inmates. Unfortunately, 15 inmates and 31 officials have succumbed to Covid-19,” he said.
He further said that over 6,000 inmates were also released on parole.
“The department is also making progress in terms of placing low-risk inmates on parole as per the parole dispensation announced by the president. We have released a total of 6,128 inmates thus far.
“This requires a meticulous process which involves victim-offender mediation and the taking of DNA samples by SAPS. Inmates who are released are those who have undergone the relevant rehabilitation programmes aimed at correcting their offending behaviour,” he added.