- The DA claims Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma “overruled” the president by issuing a new national closing time of 21:00 for establishments.
- But it seems the party confused segments of the regulations, which were meant for hotspot areas only.
- Cogta confirmed the closing time of 22:00 still applied to the rest of the country.
The DA on Saturday issued a statement claiming that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma undermined President Cyril Ramaphosa by unilaterally issuing a new national closing time of 21:00 for establishments.
However, it seems the party confused segments of the regulations, which were meant for hotspot areas only.
The curfew in hotspot areas is 22:00, and bars, restaurants and other establishments have to close an hour earlier.
In the rest of the country, the curfew is 23:00 and bars and restaurants have to close at 22:00.
This was confirmed by Cogta spokesperson Lungi Mtshali on Saturday, who told News24 that Dlamini-Zuma hadn’t changed anything.
“The regulation of 21:00 refers to and applies to hotspot areas, as announced by the president,” said Mtshali.
Mtshali said the closing of establishments at 22:00 still stood for the rest of the country.
He said it was always the case, since the announcement, that establishments in hotspots areas would close at 21:00.
However, DA MP Dean Macpherson was not convinced and said the government had “buggered up”.
“Let me guess? They say 21:00 is for the hotspot areas?” he said over the phone.
Macpherson said there was no distinction for hotspot areas in the regulations published in the government gazette.
“Where does it say that in the regulations? There’s no distinction in the regulations. It’s just an excuse and they realised they buggered up. It’s deliberate. Law enforcements are going around enforcing a 21:00 closure,” he said.
He had initially claimed in a statement that Dlamini-Zuma decided to “overrule” Ramaphosa through amended regulations published in the government gazette on Thursday.
“It should not be allowed that a minister can advance their own agendas through regulations as we have seen time and again. That is why I have written to Dlamini-Zuma and the president requesting an urgent answer as to why the closing time has been altered in this caviller [sic] manner and, hopefully have it amended back to 22:00.
“Establishments like restaurants need every hour they possibly can get to make up for the hard and brutal lockdown that they have been subjected to this year.”
Earlier this week, Ramaphosa tightened regulations and closed beaches amid the country grappling with a second wave of Covid-19.Ramaphosa said: “On-site consumption of alcohol at licensed establishments is not permitted after 22:00. No consumption of alcohol is permitted in public spaces, such as parks and beaches.
“The curfew is meant to prevent gatherings that go on late into the night, while enabling restaurants, bars, and taverns to continue to operate and earn an income. “Nelson Mandela Bay, the Garden Route district in the Western Cape and the Sarah Baartman district in the Eastern Cape have been identified as Covid-19 hotspot areas.
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