'There are no separate regulations for the Western Cape,' says police minister Bheki Cele

Minister says police will arrest people who breach the regulations even after premier Allan Winde said shops are now allowed to sell cigarettes in that province.

02 April 2020 - 20:27 By APHIWE DEKLERK
Police minister Bheki Cele says the SAPS will arrest those who follow relaxed regulations announced by Western Cape premier Allan Winde on the sale of cigarettes.
Police minister Bheki Cele says the SAPS will arrest those who follow relaxed regulations announced by Western Cape premier Allan Winde on the sale of cigarettes.
Image: Esa Alexander

Police minister Bheki Cele has taken a swipe at the DA-run Western Cape government after it relaxed lockdown regulations in the province on the sale of cigarettes.

Addressing the media on Thursday evening, Cele said the SA Police Service would enforce the regulations as signed and gazetted by co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

“These regulations, as they are signed by minister Dlamini-Zuma, are national regulations. There are no provincial regulations. There are no municipal regulations. So, what is done in Limpopo is expected to be done in Western Cape.

“So they shouldn’t come with their own. You hear that some provinces will relax some and differ from other provinces,” said Cele.

He warned that there should be no complaints against the SAPS because his officers would not implement provincial regulations but would stick with regulations as published by the national government.

Cele’s words come after Western Cape premier Alan Winde was  quoted in the media on Thursday confirming that unlike in other provinces, shops in his province would be allowed to sell cigarettes.

“It was an interpretation of the law which doesn't specifically say no cigarettes. The agreement was that as long as it is with shopping items, then it would be fine.

“It is not about just going and buying cigarettes. It's not about the opening of tobacconists or cigarette-specific shops. It is part of your buying essential items. That was agreed yesterday in our report-back meeting,” Winde was quoted saying.

But Cele said provinces should stick to what was signed by Dlamini-Zuma.

“There is nothing wrong if you feel you need a change, to make a presentation and those are discussed there and they are changed. But [regulations] cannot be changed piecemeal by provinces,” said Cele.

He said it was important for provinces to know that there was one country and police would arrest people who break regulations signed and gazetted by the national government.


X