Let’s toe the line

Mfezeko Bunu, Khayelitsha

I am penning this on the eve of the implementation of level 4 of the national lockdown. Although in principle there will be few changes to the way citizens continue to perform their daily tasks, I urge my fellow citizens to give our democratically elected government all the support we can give it, like staying at home unless one has to go and buy groceries, visit health facilities or they are part of the clearly defined essential services.

The more disciplined and supportive our citizenry is, the easier and quicker the country will get to level one where everything will be back to some degree of normalcy.

My heart bleeds for the country whenever I have to go out of my house to buy essentials, as I drive past scores of people sitting on street corners, some walking without purpose, some sitting on pavements talking about the same things they have been talking about all their lives. Nothing breaks my heart more than the sight of long and winding queues of shoppers going to the Khayelitsha branch of Spar.

These queues are longer than four Silver Trains put together that run between Khayelitsha and Cape Town Central Station. The lengths of these queues are such that these shoppers inevitably come in contact with other people walking on the busy main road to visit the nearby Khayelitsha District Hospital, which has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases.

My plea is that the provincial government should provide these shoppers with transport to do their shopping at quieter shopping malls as this reduces the risk of infection.

Of course, there has to be strict monitoring of this process so that only those people with essential shopping needs can go to the shops. My appeal to the citizens is this: Let’s all fight against this pandemic instead of just waiting for the heavy hand of the law enforcement and security cluster personnel to force us to toe the line.