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Celebrating New Year under strict regulations

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Some seem oblivious to the restrictions, while others are feeling restricted by the Level 3 regulations.

Is this how you will be celebrating New Year’s Eve?

WITH strict Level 3 regulations in force, many Northern Cape residents are seemingly oblivious to this as shoppers continue to shop up a storm in preparation for the New Year.

The “spirit” for New Year celebrations does not seem to be dampened as was expected.

Residents are, however, rather shopping for clothing, food and fireworks instead of alcohol, the sale of which is banned under Level 3.

Several street vendors have been seen around town selling fireworks, while trying to hide from being spotted by the patrolling police.

President Cyril Ranaphosa has urged residents to rather light a candle in remembrance of those who have perished due to Covid-19 instead of celebrating with fireworks.

The announcement was triggered by the reality of the second wave of Covid-19 which has hit the country and the alarming surge in infections.

The police had been called on to intervene on several occasions to disperse revellers with rubber bullets at parks.

The abuse of alcohol and ignorance of the Covid regulations is also believed to have triggered the banning of alcohol.

The health sector has also started to feel the strain due to the rise in road accidents and acts of violence by the public in numerous cases related to the abuse of alcohol.

The announcement of a return to Level 3 has, however, been met with both humour and arrogance by the public, with many city residents saying that they will be celebrating the year-end with alcohol and fireworks.

Only those who have made prior bookings will be allowed to visit city resorts, under strict Covid-19 regulations.

Ouma Kegakilwe from Richie indicated it is always a habit in her home and many others to celebrate the arrival of the new year at home, hold a short prayer, before packing their bags to head to different holiday resorts, game reserves and swimming pools.

“We always leave home at around 3am to head to the resorts in order to secure a nice spot, and return later in the evening or the next day if we have booked a chalet.

“But this year we were delayed by the lockdown and told to wait as the place we wanted to go to had to check the number of confirmed bookings, which resulted in us not getting space.

“But we will have to survive and be grateful for having each other’s company,” she sighed.

She said they have already stocked up enough beverages for the family gathering that they will hold at home.

A number of residents are still unsure whether they will be allowed to enter the chalets with their alcohol.

Others were also still confused as to whether they will be allowed to hold their family gatherings in the comfort of their homes only until 9pm or whether they will be able to join the prayer hour at midnight.

Solomon Klaas from Colville indicated that he is not sure how he will survive the celebrations under such heavy police presence as the police seem to know which taverns to raid.

“Those are our places where we chill and they know we are their customers. Thus they can make a plan for us in the times of need like these.

“Now the cops are tipped off and we cannot even go and say hello to the tavern owner before one hears a police siren behind you,” said Klaas.

“Dis bad, dis net droogte (It’s bad, it’s just drought.).”

He indicated that this is a time where everyone is already prepared for the price hike in back-door alcohol sales.

“That is how things go. You pay hard cash for your cargo.”

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