Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned that those arrested for not wearing face masks in public will face the prospect of life with criminal records.
He revealed on Tuesday that around 7 000 people have been arrested for contravening lockdown regulations by not wearing face masks in public.
Cele told eNCA that South Africans should be wary of having criminal records.
The minister said those arrested – whether they pay a fine or face a magistrate – will have a criminal record.
"[After arresting you] we will take you to the police station, take your fingerprints and you will choose to either pay a fine or see a magistrate in court. Those processes will give [you] a criminal record.
"South Africans must be wary of that and they must know what criminal records do to their lives in future.
"These 7 000 people that we have arrested, they have already created and manufactured criminal records for themselves," Cele said.
Cele said nothing much has changed regarding the regulations under the advanced alert Level 3 lockdown.
He promised that police will continue enforcing the law against those who contravene lockdown regulations.
"The nation must remember that we still work on our primary mandate, as the SAPS. [It] is crime prevention," Cele said.