On the second day of the national COVID-19 lockdown (28 March), there were fewer people moving around Khutsong than the day before. People are complying with the regulations imposed on them to stop the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus.
There have been very few taxis operating in the area. The police, metro police, and SANDF officials have also been scarce. Councillors in most wards are also not very visible. Some public spaces are shutdown, while other are still open. Sports grounds and taverns are not operating, although there were some people moving around looking to buy alcohol.
All spaza shops owned by immigrants have been told to stop operating. This recent restriction comes after the Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said at the recent ministerial briefing on the lockdown that “strictly only South African owned and operated spaza shops would be allowed to trade”. These xenophobic statements have since been retracted, but the damage has already been done.
Social distancing in public spaces is still a big challenge in Khutsong. Very long queues of people standing too close to one another were seen outside Choppies Supermarket. No measures were taken to comply with new coronavirus Policy and Regulations.
Not all stores were defaulting on regulations. The Welverdiend Supermarket put in place measures to raise awareness to fight against the coronavirus in the area. This included a poster sign and sanitisers offered.
On the R559 Road there were no cars moving, only three young children could be seen crossing the road.
The community shared with Karibu! that they have been helped by the Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) who have been running an awareness campaign in the community. The Khutsong Main Clinic has put sanitisers at the security entrance and inside the facility, but there are not enough masks and gloves for clinic staff. Only five patients are allowed inside the clinic at each interval.