SANDF to assist police during lockdown

An SANDF soldier patrolling the Cape Flats in 2019.
Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Here’s how SANDF will assist police during lockdown

If you’re wondering how the SANDF will assist police to implement safety measures during lockdown, you’ve come to the right place.

SANDF to assist police during lockdown

An SANDF soldier patrolling the Cape Flats in 2019.
Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, during the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster briefing on Wednesday 25 March, echoed what many of us already knew — that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will assist police during the lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday, that the South African Police Service (SAPS), with the assistance of SANDF would monitor the nationwide lockdown on Friday and make sure the measures for safety are implemented by all citizens.

“The SANDF [South African Defence Force] will be deployed to support the SA Police Service, to ensure the measures are observed. This lockdown will be accompanied by a programme which increases screening and contract tracing,” said Ramaphosa on Monday. 

Many of us wanted to know how SAPS would enforce a lockdown, where they would be stationed, what they would be doing and so on. Mapisa-Nqakula did not specify exact operational details, but she did announce how the military would assist police.

Here’s how SANDF will assist during the lockdown 

Mapisa-Nqakula announced that SANDF will assist in the following ways:

  • SANDF will assist SAPS with implementation measures, in other words, don’t leave your house;
  • The army will assist police with roadblocks;
  • SANDF will assist with foot patrols;
  • The military will safeguard borders and ports of entry; and
  • Conduct cordon and search operations.

Here’s what you can’t do at home during lockdown 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize initially said dog-walking during the lockdown would be allowed, but a few hours later, Police Minister Bheki Cele said it would be prohibited. He said that if unnecessary movement takes place, the SAPS and SANDF will intervene.

Here are the things you should not do during lockdown:

  • Do not invite people to your homes; 
  • This means no social gatherings of any kind, no matter how small you think it is; 
  • Sorry folks, but that include braais; 
  • You also cannot go to the home of a friend or a family member, for any recreational purposes, this includes going for a “smoke or a drink”; and 
  • Mkhize reiterated that those who use their properties for gatherings of worship during lockdown, must also desist immediately.

Which services will remain open during lockdown? 

  • Most shops and businesses will be closed; 
  • SAPS, metro police, military and emergency services will continue to operate; 
  • Health care services such as hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies and laboratories will remain open;
  • Banks and essential financial and payment services, including the JSE will remain open; 
  • Supermarkets will remain open so that citizens can continue to care for themselves and their families;
  • Petrol stations will remain open; and  
  • Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open. 

Cele said that an “operational plan” for the SAPS and SANDF so to speak, would be announced at a later stage.