IFP: Mandeni Residents Disregard Social Distancing Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The IFP is concerned about the disregard for social distancing regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic by the eMakhempini residents in Mandeni, iLembe District.

Today, we as Members of the KZN Legislature participated in the Speaker’s Workers’ Outreach Programme in iLembe District, distributing masks and sanitisers. I was shocked when we arrived in the eMakhempini Area, to see overloaded taxis and vans, with passengers not adhering to the social distancing rules and obligatory mask-wearing. When we questioned people boarding these overloaded vehicles, their excuse was that they were rushing to work.
This totally outrageous. What is happening at eMakhempini is a recipe for disaster and it calls for urgent intervention from the relevant authorities.

iLembe District has been identified as one of the hotspots, with many cases of COVID-19. It is therefore concerning to see people disregarding social distancing regulations intentionally. Social distancing is an effective means of containing the spread of COVID-19, but only if we all participate. Regulatory policy-making aimed at maintaining and sustaining social distancing in the long run will benefit from closer insights into the present and future “non-compliers.”
Public interventions specifically targeting both present and future non-compliers will be helpful – if not essential – for achieving control of the spread of COVID-19.

We call on the KZN MEC for Community Safety, Bheki Ntuli, and KZN Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt General Khombinkosi Jula, to urgently intervene by deploying police at eMakhempini to enforce physical social distancing. Enforcing social distancing and wearing a mask is mandatory and is non-negotiable. Police must arrest anyone found to be violating social distancing regulations if we are serious about preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

We want to state clearly that we do not condone police brutality when enforcing social distancing regulations.

The IFP calls on the KZN MEC of Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to start a testing campaign for coronavirus at eMakhempini in Mandeni.

Lastly, the IFP urges the public to adhere to social distancing regulations in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Health
078 302 3991