In Pictures | Exercise and rights

For some, going outside has been a literal breath of fresh air. Others are feeling stifled as they struggle for money and food. New Frame photojournalists took to the streets with the rest of South Africa as the Covid-19 lockdown eased.

South Africa’s initial five-week lockdown ended on May Day and many South Africans took to the streets, green spaces and beachfronts early that morning to exercise their bodies and their right to be outside – even if only for the permitted three hours from 6am to 9am daily. 

The desire for exercise might have been satisfied but desperation for food lingers. And as the lines outside supermarkets grow longer, the line between government assistance and military enforcement becomes ever more blurred.  

People have had to resort to extreme measures to survive, while others have reacted callously to their plight and the helping hand that some in South Africa have extended to those in need.

1 May 2020: A man crosses the Sea Point promenade in Cape Town on the first day of the government’s eased lockdown restrictions, which permit exercising between 6am and 9am. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
6 May 2020: Youngsters from the township of Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg, on a dusty football pitch early in the morning. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
1 May 2020: Crowds flocked to the promenade in Sea Point with little regard for social distancing as lockdown restrictions eased to allow for morning exercise. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
6 May 2020: Vlakfontein youngsters in a morning training session. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
6 May 2020: Long queues formed outside the Maponya Mall in Soweto as people waited patiently on the day they received their increased child support grants. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
7 May 2020: A young girl and her family’s domestic worker walk the dogs in Illovo, Johannesburg. (Photograph by Madelene Cronjé)
6 May 2020: A woman jogs along the Braamfontein Spruit near Victory Park in Johannesburg during the lockdown exercise window of 6am to 9am. (Photograph by Madelene Cronjé)
1 May 2020: Capetonians crowded on to the promenade in Sea Point, making little effort to keep their distance on the first day of the eased lockdown restrictions. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
4 May 2020: South African National Defence Force and South African Police Service officers at the Baragwanath Taxi Rank in Soweto, making sure everyone is wearing a face mask and abiding by the lockdown regulations. (Photograph by Oupa Nkosi)
4 May 2020: Workers harvest crops on a farm near Eikenhof in south Johannesburg. Farming is permitted while the government’s Covid-19 lockdown regulations are at level four. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
1 May 2020: Shoppers wait for public transport at the Isipingo Taxi Rank near Durban. Some waited the whole day after stocking up on groceries. (Photograph by Khaya Ngwenya)
1 May 2020: A homeless man searches a dustbin in Durban. (Photograph by Khaya Ngwenya)
6 May 2020: The contents of Nomsa Khumalo’s fridge, which must feed her family of six. She has two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren. Being from Zimbabwe, they do not have access to government grants or food parcels and have been struggling to make ends meet since the Covid-19 lockdown began. The landlord of their single-room apartment in Johannesburg’s inner city is threatening to cut off their electricity if she does not pay her rent, meaning she won’t be able to refrigerate or cook their meagre food supplies. (Photograph by James Puttick)
1 May 2020: An elderly man rides his bicycle along the Durban promenade as lockdown restrictions ease. (Photograph by Khaya Ngwenya)
4 May 2020: Vukani Zuma from the Taxi Squad Association checks if drivers at the Baragwanath Taxi Rank in Soweto are wearing face masks as they start their day, and makes those who aren’t put them on. (Photograph by Oupa Nkosi)
6 May 2020: Vlakfontein residents in masks wait to board taxis at a local rank to get to work after the government lifted some of its lockdown restrictions. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
2 May 2020: Face masks in public have been compulsory in South Africa since the start of May. Most of the residents in Kliptown, Soweto, are keeping to the regulations. (Photograph by Oupa Nkosi)
2 May 2020: Kliptown residents are mostly conforming with the government’s new mask regulations. (Photograph by Oupa Nkosi)
4 May 2020: A commuter rushes for a morning taxi at the Baragwanath Taxi Rank. (Photograph by Oupa Nkosi)
5 May 2020: Akbar Khan, a 61-year-old fisherman from Crossmoor in Chatsworth, with his fishing gear. He has supported himself for years by fishing at the Blue Lagoon in Durban, but is now unable to do so and has not earned an income during the lockdown period. (Photograph by Mlungisi Mbele)
2 May 2020: New lockdown regulations have provided an opportunity for Kliptown residents such as Zenobia Ryan to generate an income selling face masks. (Photograph by Oupa Nkosi)
5 May 2020: Sheila (not her real name) came to Johannesburg from Zimbabwe 10 years ago. She has a job as a part-time domestic worker, but her income has been cut off since the Covid-19 lockdown began. As a Zimbabwean, she cannot make use of the Unemployment Insurance Fund and does not have access to government social grants or food parcels. Her boyfriend of four years works in construction but the lockdown has also prevented him from earning, so they are struggling to feed themselves and their three children. Their desperation and lack of options have forced her into sex work so she can feed her family during the lockdown. (Photograph by James Puttick)
6 May 2020: Mike Ndlovu wears a face shield as he makes his way to a taxi rank in Soweto in the early hours of the morning. He is able to work while the government’s lockdown regulations are at level four. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
6 May 2020: Bobo Ramasodi, a 29-year-old resident of Soweto, warms himself by a fire early in the morning. Ramasodi does piece work as a welder and car mechanic, but was unable to work during the government’s initial lockdown and relied on an elderly lady who gave him vegetables from her garden to eat. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
7 May 2020: The charred remains of Peter Wagenaar’s Mini Cooper across the road from his apartment block in Moullie Point, Cape Town. It is said the car was torched by residents who are against feeding the homeless who live in the area. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
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