Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Saturday pleaded with South African families to strictly avoid the movement of children around during the lockdown especially when parents are not staying in the same household.
The government rules which cover psycho-social support show that to contain the spread of coronavirus by people who are co-parents, movement of children during the lockdown is not allowed, she said.
“The child shall remain in the custody of the parent who the child was with when the lockdown was effected. The parent who is not with the child during the lockdown, in order to maintain a personal relationship with the child can make regular communication with the child in other manners, including telephonic and others. Many people have been calling me directly, to say can’t we even exchange the child perhaps at a pharmacy or something of that sort,” Zulu stated addressing journalists in Pretoria.”
“The bottom line is you need to protect your children. This is a period of 21 days and we have indicated that it is 21 days where a lot needs to be done in terms of tolerance, and patience. We are making a call to everyone that it is for your own good. If we are in the same difficulty after 21 days, these regulations and notices, we do have the space to look at them and see whether they are helpful or not.”
On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the national lockdown as South Africa experienced a surge in the coronavirus outbreak. The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have been positioned onto the streets. People are only allowed to leave their houses to look for medical care, buy food or collect a social grant.