Coronavirus News Africa

National lockdown: Alexandra ignores call to stay in

Scores of Alexandra residents are ignoring President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to stay at home.

This after he declared a national state of disaster and ordered the nation to self-isolate for 21 days.

SAPS members and soldiers were patrolling the area on Friday to ensure a sense of calm in the area, as residents carried on with their lives as normal, with scores of them – young and old – roaming the streets.

Members of the army shut down supermarkets that remained open and full of people, and they told people on the streets to return home. 

People consumed alcohol in public, young children played in the streets and some traders continued to sell their wares, oblivious to the lockdown.

From the break of dawn, residents started queuing outside a supermarket to buy food.

Residents said the store sold groceries at lower prices.

Mpumelelo Khanyile had been in the queue since before 06:00.

“This is the cheapest place in Alexandra. We get everything we need. I’m worried about the coronavirus, but I have to be here to buy food,” he said.


Standing next to him, Thuto Mnunwana said he was worried the virus could spread rapidly in Alexandra.

“We are many here and share many things. Of course, we are worried but we must go out to buy things,” he added.

Outside the Pan Africa Mall, two lines of people waited to gain access to it.

Hours later, a truck carrying soldiers arrived. They, together with law enforcement officials, ordered the shops to close.

However, their orders were all but ignored as people returned to the streets despite being warned not to do so.

Some elderly people were overheard saying they do not fear the deadly virus and it would not affect them.

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