The N1 freeway between Pretoria and Johannesburg was all but empty this morning as South Africa’s 21-day nationwide lockdown started.
Driving along the N1 north and south around the Centurion and Midrand area at 09:00 today saw traffic levels as low as you would expect early on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
A handful of trucks were driving in either direction, along with a low number of passenger vehicles. Traffic police and other law enforcement vehicles were also seen driving along the freeway.
Ramaphosa announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown in an address to citizens on Monday evening.
The president said swift action was needed to prevent a catastrophe in the country, referring to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
All South Africans must stay at home during the lockdown, he said, except for those involved in the provision of essential services.
South Africans would only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food and medicine, to seek medical attention, and to collect a social grant, stated Ramaphosa at the time.
Ramaphosa said businesses which do not provide essential services must also close during this time.