North West authorities embark on Safer Festive Season campaign

SABC News Police - North West authorities embark on Safer Festive Season campaign

Residents of Mahikeng in the North West have expressed mixed reactions about the law enforcement officials’ efforts to enforce compliance with COVID-19 regulations in their area.

Some are calling for the officials to improve their efforts and visibility, while others expressed satisfaction.

Police, traffic, and customs officials joined by firefighters started their festive operations in Mahikeng with a parade.

Then they took part in a walkabout in shopping complexes in town where they engaged with customers and made sure that all shops comply with COVID-19 regulations.

South Africans experiencing a different holiday season because of the coronavirus:

Residents’ response 

However, not all residents are convinced that they are doing a good job. “Every day when you watch TV, you see that they are working, but here they are not visible. Even today, I’m shocked to see them.”

Another resident says, “People move around with alcohol. We cannot stop them from that. We are not officials. We need law enforcement officials, constant visibility of police.”

Some are pleased with the officials’ efforts. “In my view, the police are doing a good job for the community to adhere to regulations of COVID-19.”

Safer Festive Season campaign

The aim of the Safer Festive Season Campaign is to raise awareness about the second wave of COVID-19.

MEC for the Department of Public Safety in the province Sello Lehari pleaded with residents to obey regulations and to keep safe.

“Some of them only wear masks when they enter shops. Some of them only wear masks when they get into a taxi. Now, we are making them aware that COVID-19 is there and it’s coming back very strong. They have to wear their masks all the time, sanitise, social distance and stay at home and go out when it’s necessary, avoid partying and not to go to funerals in large numbers.”

Crime

While law enforcement officials are intensifying their operations to ensure that people comply with COVID-19 regulations, fighting crime is not left behind.

“In the past 24-hours, throughout the four districts of the province, a total of 333 people have been arrested. Hundred and fifteen out of 333 were arrested for crimes of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Seventy-five  suspects were arrested for crimes related to GBV  and 10 for rape,” says Deputy Provincial Police Commissioner, Major General Patrick Asaneng

The province’s Coronavirus Command Council has expressed concern about a possible sharp increase in coronavirus infections, especially in the mining areas.

Although the government believes that they have sufficient medical capacity they urged residents to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

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