Curfew in South Africa: What it means and the permit you need

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image credit: Twitter/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced that a curfew will be in place in South Africa between 21h00 and 04h00 every day as from Monday, 13 July.

In his address to the nation, Ramaphosa said a curfew during level 3 lockdown is aimed at reducing pressure on hospitals caused by car accidents, violence and related trauma that occur at night.

“Apart from people who need to travel to and from work or who need to seek urgent medical or other assistance during this time, everyone will be required to remain at home,” he said.

Curfew meaning

A curfew means a regulation or law that requires people to stay at home or indoors during certain hours, mostly at night. The new curfew South Africa is therefore a restriction on the movement of people in the country.

As stated by the President, the curfew time is between 9pm and 4am every day. This means that you must be home by 9pm and you can only leave home again at 4am, unless you have a permit.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has already gazetted the curfew in South Africa.

“Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 21h00 until 04h00 daily, except where a person has been granted a permit, which corresponds with Form 2 of Annexure A, to perform a service permitted under alert level 3, or is attending to a security or medical emergency,” she wrote in the gazette notice.

Curfew permit

To obtain this permit, you should be someone who performs an essential or permitted service, or attending to a security or medical emergency.

This is how the curfew permit looks like.

You must also have your identity document and present it with the permit when stopped by law enforcement agencies. Should you not present an ID, you would be required to return to your place of residence.

The permit contains your details, including full names, ID number and place of residence, as well as those of your employer or institution issuing it. It has to be signed and must bear an official stamp of the institution.

“We are taking these measures fully aware that they impose unwelcome restrictions on people’s lives. They are, however, necessary to see us through the peak of the disease,” Ramaphosa said in his address.

To read the full directions published by Dlamini-Zuma on the COGTA website, click here. The permit is annexed on page 8 of the directions.

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