In Pictures | How SA looks in the Covid-19 lockdown

New Frame photojournalists capture the first week of the national, 21-day lockdown in the country’s major cities as the government attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

At midnight on 26 March, South Africa joined many countries around the world and began an unprecedented lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. The virus, along with the panic it has triggered, has worsened the inequality and the lack of decent housing, sanitation and transport already plaguing South Africa. 

Once busy streets are deserted as people isolate themselves at home, afraid of exposing themselves to the disease or the police and the military that have been deployed to enforce social distancing. 

We are eight days into the 21-day lockdown.

1 April 2020: The deserted Newtown cultural precinct in downtown Johannesburg on day five of the 21-day lockdown. (Photograph by Bonile Bam)
20 March 2020: Empty escalators at the Gautrain’s flagship station in Sandton, Johannesburg. (Photograph by James Puttick)
27 March 2020: A lone taxi is washed at the Bara Taxi Rank in Soweto, usually one of the busiest in the country, on the first day of the national lockdown. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
21 march 2020: Abandoned trolleys in a parking lot at the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria. The number of visitors to shopping centres declined significantly in March as South Africans began to self-isolate. (Photograph by James Puttick)
26 March 2020: Textile shops closing on Helen Joseph Street in Newtown, Johannesburg, in preparation for the three-week lockdown. (Photograph by James Puttick)
26 March 2020: A private, drive-through Covid-19 testing station at the Wanderers cricket stadium in Johannesburg during the first week of the national lockdown in South Africa. (Photograph by Madelene Cronjé)
30 March 2020: Stalls stand empty on a usually bustling street corner in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. (Photograph by Madelene Cronjé)
31 March 2020: A homeless shelter set up by the City of Cape Town. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
27 March 2020: A street in the township of Alexandra during the first day of the national lockdown. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
25 March 2020: Veronica Matontsi carries the bucket she has filled with water from one of the low-pressure, self-installed taps in the Island shack settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Limited or no access to water makes sanitation almost impossible in shack settlements. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
30 March 2020. Customers practice social distancing in the queue outside a shop in Thokoza township in Ekurhuleni. (Photograph by James Oatway)
31 March 2020: A little girl accompanies her mother to the Shoprite store in Mayfair, Johannesburg. (Photograph by Madelene Cronjé)
30 March 2020: A man holds a cloth over his mouth as he stands in line to enter the Pan Africa Shopping Centre in Alexandra on the first day of grant payouts by the South African Social Security Agency. (Photograph by Ihsaan Haffejee)
31 March 2020: A homeless transwoman with a plate of food from a shelter set up by the City of Cape Town under the N2 bridge on the Foreshore. (Photograph by Barry Christianson)
30 March 2020: Two men watch as South African National Defence Force members accompanied by private security guards check people’s papers at the Bree Street taxi rank in central Johannesburg.  (Photograph by James Oatway)
30 March 2020: Police officers arrest a man in a bar in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, during the national lockdown. (Photograph by James Oatway)
31 March 2020: Teenagers play soccer in a yard in Newlands, Johannesburg. (Photograph by James Oatway)
31 March 2020: A discarded medical glove in Mayfair, Johannesburg, on day five of the national lockdown. (Photograph by Madelene Cronjé)
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