Hundreds of Capetonians packed their bags and flooded the Joe Gqabi bus station in Philippi East on Wednesday to flee the Coronavirus for the Eastern Cape.
At yesterday’s count the Western Cape had the second highest confirmed numbers of the infections with 183, after Gauteng.
“I am running away from the virus,” said Vuyani Haleni.
“We are overcrowded here in shacks and chances of getting the virus are high.”
Asked if he was not worried that he would get it while travelling on a long-distance coach, he said: “It is a risk I am willing to take. There is enough land for us in the Eastern Cape and we have been asked not to go back to work. We might as well stay there.”
Mense leaving to the Eastern Cape 'to evade virus'. Video: Velani Ludidi
Khayelitsha residents protested in front of Civic Centre yesterday, asking for the municipality to reconnect their water, which has been off due to outstanding debts to the municipality.
Unathi Ngcantsana said she was among the affected people and that she was leaving.
“We do not have water and there are no dams where we can fetch water here,” she said.
“Eastern Cape is our only choice now if we want to be saved from the virus.”
Some people were loading furniture into trailers as if they would never come back again.
Scores of people started arriving after 4pm. Many said it was their last day at work before the national 21-day lockdown.
Mvuzo Buthane said he was given two months’ leave.
“My boss said we can come back after two months and I decided to go as I do not want to pay rent,” he said.
“Eastern Cape will be peaceful, there will be no soldiers in the villages.”
Capetonians flee to Eastern Cape 'to evade virus'. Video: Velani Ludidi
Premier Alan Winde said the matter was raised by Transport Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela in their cabinet meeting: “At this stage, there is nothing legally preventing people from making the choice to spend the lockdown period in the Eastern Cape.
“However, we advise extreme caution while travelling as the virus spreads through close contact.
“Anyone who feels sick or who shows signs of illness should not be allowed to travel at all.
“Once the lockdown comes into effect on (tonight), travel between provinces will no longer be allowed.”