South Africa News

DA’s John Steenhuisen wants President Ramaphosa to end curfew before New Year’s Eve

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to support the economy and end curfew before New Year’s Eve.

South Africa’s current curfew during level 1 lockdown is between midnight and 4 am. This will affect most New Year’s Eve festivities.

“Ending the curfew is an easy and logical way to boost the economy, particularly the restaurant and events industry, which are major employers and have taken huge strain and made immense sacrifices during the pandemic,” Steenhuisen said in a statement.

Steenhuisen added that South Africa’s hospitalization rates were low at the moment, with vaccines proving to be effective and Omicron being less severe than previous Covid-19 variants. He said this was a perfect time to give the country’s economy a shot in the arm.

He also said South Africans’ morale needed a boost.

“People should be able to legally come together with friends and family to celebrate the start of 2022 and the end of an incredibly tough 2021.”

The DA leader said the curfew was “irrational” and “pointless”.

“Most people aren’t observing curfew anyway. This underscores the irrationality of the curfew, which is doing more harm than good by undermining the rule of law. Are the police going to arrest people celebrating New Year’s Eve? Law enforcement should be focused on preventing drunk driving and real criminality, not curfew…”

The DA has opposed the curfew since the start of the lockdown measures. The opposition party claims there is little justification for restricting the movement of people and curtailing the operating hours of businesses such as restaurants and bars.

AfriForum’s bid dismissed
Earlier in December, AfriForum approached the courts to try to get the curfew declared unconstitutional and set aside.

Gauteng Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba, however, ruled there was no justification for the matter to be heard on an urgent basis and struck the matter off the roll.

AfriForum requested the following from Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma:

  • To be provided with written reasons why there are curfews as well as supporting evidence that curfews are an effective precautionary measure against Covid-19
  • To be provided with the documents and supporting documents, expert reports, evidence and data which supports the decision to enact curfews
  • That the implementation of national curfews be ceased with immediate effect

AfriForum had also argued that the festive season was critical to the hospitality and entertainment industries in the country.

-The Citizen

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