South Africa’s new curfew rules under the level 4 lockdown – what you need to know about permits

Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has published new regulations which outline the restrictions under South Africa’s level 4 lockdown, including the introduction of a new curfew.

Under section 16(3) of the new regulations, all South Africans are confined to their place of residence from 20h00 until 05h00 every day.

The only exception to this rule is where:

  • A person has been granted a permit to perform an essential or permitted service;
  • A person is attending to a security emergency;
  • A person is attending to a medical emergency.

The new permit appears to be separate from the certificate which was provided to essential services by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) during the country’s level 5 restrictions and is included as a separate annexure in the regulations.

It states that any person leaving their homes during the curfew hours must also carry some form of identification with them at all times. Failing to do so, they will be required to return home immediately, even if they have a valid permit.

Both the employee and the institution which employs are required to fill out the form with the necessary identification details.

Below, is a copy of what this permit looks like.

Members of the SANDF and the police force are expected to help monitor and enforce this curfew during the level 4 lockdown period.

While the regulations do not outline any specific punishment for violating the curfew, there are some general penalties to breaching the lockdown regulations. This includes a fine and/or imprisonment of up to six months.

The curfew also places restrictions on business operations during this time – in particular, restaurants and fast food chains which can now produce food for delivery may only be open until 19h00 – giving workers time to get home before the curfew kicks in.

Further, when it comes to exercising, the curfew also comes into play, albeit with much tighter restrictions. Here, people may only exercise between 06h00 and 09h00 in the morning.

Legal challenge? 

In response to the gazetting of the new regulations and the introduction of the new curfew system, the DA called government’s approach ‘unnecessarily blunt and restrictive’, with there being no justification for many of the arbitrary rules and restrictions.

“One gets the sense that the call for comment was merely a box-ticking exercise, since little has changed from what the government proposed last week, notwithstanding the 70,000 submissions,” it said.

“What of those who need to leave home at 05h00 to get to work? But then again, the ANC has long-since stopped caring about poor people. Or perhaps, for them, the working day doesn’t start before 09h00.”

Earlier this week, the DA said it will consider challenging the proposed introduction of a nightly curfew as part of South Africa’s level 4 lockdown restrictions.

“There is no need for militarisation and a formal curfew when citizens understand and trust the need for the limitations on freedom of movement. No amount of force or coercion will bolster compliance in the absence of understanding and trust,” it said.

“If the government fails to heed our warning to rescind the planned enforcement of a military curfew, the DA reserves our right to challenge the move in court, because we place our trust in citizens rather than in coercion.”

You can read the full level 4 lockdown regulations below:

COGTA Regulations 29 April by BusinessTech on Scribd

Read: No alcohol or cigarettes to be sold under South Africa’s new level 4 lockdown

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South Africa’s new curfew rules under the level 4 lockdown – what you need to know about permits