MEC Albert Fritz condemns looting of several food stores during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown
14 April 2020
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, condemns the looting of several food stores today. Incidents were reported in Mannenberg, Sherwood Park, Nyanga Junction and Gatesville.
Minister Fritz said, “At present, we find ourselves facing a humanitarian crisis because of the lockdown and the economic challenges that follow are only going to exacerbate these challenges further. It is a struggle for many to put food on the table. This is a very big concern for us and our government has taken a number of steps to assist as much as we can. However, I must be clear, looting will not be tolerated. We urge all our residents to abide by the law at all times.”
There have also been a number of liquor stores looted over the last few days.
To prevent further looting of liquor stores, the Department of Community Safety was advised by SAPS that liquor should be transported to safer premises. Under the instruction of Minister Fritz, the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) wrote to the Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt. General YolisaMatakata, requesting that SAPS support liquor license holders in transporting liquor from their licensed premises. In consultation with SAPS’ legal services, the necessary protocol was established and has since been communicated by SAPS to all Station Commanders.
Minister Fritz said, “In writing to SAPS, it has been requested that where licensees have identified the risk of their premises being looted, that they are able to move the liquor to a place of safety. This initiative will prevent the raiding and looting of liquor stores. To date, SAPS and the WCLA have approved 31 notices for the transporting of liquor to safer premises, the majority of which have already been transported.”
“I strongly condemn the involvement of police officials from Bonnievale and Delft SAPS in the alleged contravention of the Disaster Management Act and the National Regulations, specifically as it relates to alcohol,” said Minister Fritz.
Minister Fritz added, “I have requested that the WCLA ensure that any outlet which contravenes the lockdown conditions be liable for a maximum fine of up to R115 610 or have their license revoked permanently, subject to investigation. I further welcome the resolution taken by PROVJOINTS on 25 March that no alcohol will be returned to any outlet after paying an admission of guilt fine.”
Minister Fritz added, “I urge members of the public who are aware of the illegal sale of alcohol in the Western Cape to immediately report such to SAPS. Any persons wanting to lodge a complaint or report a contravention of the Regulations can contact the WCLA’s Contact Centre on 021 204 9805.”
For further clarity on the conditions of lockdown, please see the following FAQs:
Issued by Cayla Ann Tomás Murray on behalf of Minister Albert Fritz, 14 April 2020