Level 4 exercise Sea Point 2

Photo: KFM / Twitter

Level 4 exercise: Here’s why we can only be outside for three hours a day

If you’ve been left wondering why you can’t exercise later in the day during Level 4 of lockdown, Ronald Lamola has clarified the ANC’s thinking.

Level 4 exercise Sea Point 2

Photo: KFM / Twitter

You know the feeling by now: If you want to leave the house for some gentle outdoor exercise, you have to get up early and be home before 9:00. Coupled with the overnight curfew of 20:00 – 5:00 which remains in place, South Africans remain extremely limited in their movements during lockdown Level 4.

Why South Africans can only exercise for three hours each day

But why, exactly, is a three-hour exercise even in place? And why does it have to take place at this time? Well, South Africans have been asking these questions since Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced the restrictions last Wednesday. Finally, one of her colleagues has given us some clarity.

Ronald Lamola is South Africa’s justice minister. The Cabinet member went public to explain the government’s thinking on Monday. According to Lamola, exercise must take place early, because it eliminates ‘the temptation to visit friends and family after work’.

Level 4 restrictions explained

The minister also says that the police have a tough job in monitoring if exercise is being carried out legally, and anything longer than three hours will hamper efforts to enforce lockdown in other manners. Perhaps not everyone will agree with Ronald Lamola and his fellow politicians, but at least we have an explanation now:

“It was assessed that when people are back from work and leave at the end of the day, there will be a temptation to go and visit friends and family. This will increase the burden on police. Law enforcement say that they will need some time to deal with these situations.”

“If the regulations allow jogging for the whole day, it means that for the whole day police will have to monitor people exercising. But, if there is a prescribed time, they can deal with the issues they are supposed to deal with during the rest of the day.”

“In the meantime, they will need restriction of movement, so that they know that from 20:00 – 5:00, they’ll only deal with people who have permits or have emergencies.”

Ronald Lamola