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South Africa is getting a new lockdown curfew – here’s how it works

  • Staff Writer: Staff Writer

As part of South Africa’s amended Level 4 lockdown restrictions, the government plans to introduce a ‘curfew’ which will limit the times when South Africans will be allowed outside of their homes.

First announced as part of a draft framework on Saturday (25 April), the curfew will place limitations on the times when South Africans are allowed to leave their homes and travel.

Below are the key points of the curfew and how they will apply to South African businesses and individuals. It should be noted that because the curfew forms part of a draft framework, it may – alongside the other proposed Level 4 lockdown restrictions – be subject to change.


The curfew will come into effect alongside the other Level 4 regulations from 1 May 2020 (Worker’s Day).  It will be applicable from 20h00 – 05h00 each day and will apply countrywide.

While not specified in the draft regulations, government has indicated that curfew could be relaxed alongside other regulations in areas with fewer coronavirus cases.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has indicated that different parts of the country may see stricter lockdown regulations based on the severity of their coronavirus cases.

She added that we could see ‘differentiated lockdowns’ in provinces with a high number of coronavirus cases such as Gauteng, KZN, and the Western Cape.

This means that a district which has had fewer cases or a lower chance of transmission may have different lockdown rules than a more ‘high-risk’ area, she said.


As with the existing lockdown regulations, this curfew does not apply to essential workers who will have to travel to and from work during these hours.

However, it appears that it does apply to workers who are not deemed ‘essential’ under the current regulations and who are allowed to return to work under the new Level 4 restrictions from 1 May.

This extends to the new lockdown regulations around restaurants, which are subject to their own food delivery times in the draft regulations (09h00 – 20h00).


The draft regulations indicate that the curfew is not only limited to travel, and South Africans will also not be allowed to leave their homes to exercise during these times.

The new Level 4 lockdown restrictions state that South Africans are now allowed to leave their homes but may not participate in organised fitness activities or use facilities such as gyms.

Government is expected to provide more information on these limitations, as well as a general update on the Level 4 restrictions, on Thursday (30 April).


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