Plea for rural leaders to ensure lockdown measures

Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha
Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha
Image: File

Co-operative governance & traditional affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha has implored traditional leaders in the province to take the lead in rural areas and ensure people obey Covid-19 lockdown emergency measures.

Nqatha was concerned that some people in rural areas, who came from other provinces, are failing to observe the regulations to remain indoors.

The national lockdown came into effect on Friday and will continue until April 16.

“Staying at home, avoiding public places and social activities is the best defence against the virus.

“Traditional leaders should ensure that all forms of cultural activities must be suspended. Funeral services should not exceed two hours and people should keep a social distance from one another and wash their hands regularly,” Nqatha said.

He encouraged traditional leaders to do all in their power to prevent infections in rural communities.

“We urge our kings in particular, and traditional leaders in general, to be our eyes and ears on the ground. We expect them to lead from the front to enforce the regulations of the national lockdown in their jurisdictions.

“No permission should be granted for social and sporting activities, including ulwaluko (initiation). Our primary responsibility for now is to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The national lockdown is a decisive measure to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

“Let us put the national interest first by shelving our own selfish interest for now. Covid-19 is real and is spreading fast, hence it is everyone's responsibility to stay at home,” he said.

Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders and Contralesa chair Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana said traditional leaders supported the government's call.

“Both houses are fully behind the declaration. We support the president for declaring the lockdown. It's quite clear that we need to arrest the situation, particularly in rural areas.

“We don't want this to get here. Traditional leaders should talk to their people so that all our people support the government. This is not to oppress them, but it has everything to do with saving their lives.

“We have issued a communique that all those who arrive from other provinces should be presented before traditional leaders and the government to be tested. We urge everyone to work with the government and obey the measures,” urged Nonkonyana.


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