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COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Photo: GCIS / FLICKR

Curfew hours: Dlamini-Zuma scrambles to clarify ‘closing time confusion’

The DA have kicked off with Dlamini-Zuma again this weekend, and the minister’s been forced to clarify the official hours of curfew in South Africa.

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COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Photo: GCIS / FLICKR

There’s been some widespread confusion regarding the curfew hours this weekend – after the DA claimed that the government was trying to sneak-in an extra hour of restrictions for non-hotspot regions in South Africa. The allegations, however, have been brushed away by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who issued a statement on the matter on Monday.

Curfew hours – where has the confusion come from?

The shadow minister for trade, Dean Macpherson, took to his Twitter account on Saturday to challenge the official guidelines, suggesting that law enforcement officials were closing down venues an hour ahead of schedule:

“I see that COGTA is now trying to spin this to say they only mean ‘hotspots’, which simply isn’t true because it doesn’t say that in the regulations. It’s a blanket closure of 21:00.”

“Been getting so many reports of cops arriving at restaurants around the country forcing them to close down at 21:00. Really tragic to see the state using its resources to bully businesses instead of fighting crime.”

Dean Macpherson

Dlamini-Zuma ‘tidies up’ lockdown restrictions

His assertions have been categorically rejected, however. Minister Dlamini-Zuma has stressed that only three locations in South Africa – Nelson Mandela Bay, the Garden Route, and the Sarah Baartman District – are operating under a 22:00 curfew. Venues are told to close at 21:00, so patrons can get home with ample time before the restrictions kick-in.

However, everywhere else in South Africa is only under curfew from 23:00, which means venues should close at 22:00. All regions see the restrictions lifted at 4:00 the next morning. The following places and institutions are subject to the rules.

  • Faith-based institutions
  • Venues where social events are hosted
  • Venues hosting concerts and live performances
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Museums, galleries, and archives
  • Gyms, fitness centres, and swimming pools
  • Restaurants, bars, taverns, shebeens, and similar establishments
  • Venues hosting sport, arts, and culture activities
  • Any other place where a gathering may take place

Hotspot restrictions vs everywhere else in South Africa

As Dlamini-Zuma painstakingly explained, the restrictions apply to all gatherings – both outside and indoors:

“Every person in areas declared as hotspots (Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, the Garden Route, and Sarah Baartman) is confined to his/her place of residence from 22:00 to 04:00, except where permission is granted otherwise. To this end, 21:00 daily is the closing time for the establishments in areas declared as hotspots, whether indoors or outdoors.”

“Meanwhile, every person in non-hotspot areas is confined to his or her place of residence from 23:00 until 04:00 daily, except where permission is granted otherwise. To this end, 22:00 is the daily closing time in non-hotspot areas, whether indoors or outdoors.”

What are the curfew hours in South Africa?

So, for the avoidance of doubt, this table *should* comprehensively clarify when your curfew hours are

RegionHours of curfewLength of curfewWhen listed venues must close
Hotspots: Sarah Baartman District,
Nelson Mandela Bay, Garden Route
22:00 – 4:00Six hours21:00
Non-hotspots: Everywhere else in
South Africa
23:00 – 4:00Five hours22:00