An ambitious bid has been launched by the City of Cape Town – which aims to cut the length of the nationwide curfew by two hours. Officials for the municipality have sent their request to COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, outlining the logic behind the campaign. It may be a long shot, but several important figures feel it’s a risk worth taking.

Cape Town’s bid to change curfew hours

The City’s Mayoral Committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, drafted a statement last week to further detail COCT’s proposals. They claim that the current curfew hours of 21:00 – 5:00 are ‘incredibly restrictive’, and have called for a later start time to help ‘save what is left of the hospitality sector’.

Vos believes that thousands of businesses run the risk of going bust as a result of the latest Level 3 restrictions. Indeed, senior representatives for the Cape Town Council have backed the request, which asks Minister Dlamini-Zuma to implement a curfew of 23:00 – 5:00, shaving two hours off the overnight shutdown.

Will Dlamini-Zuma be swayed by the arguments?

This would allow those in the hospitality industry to operate for longer, and the proposed extra trading hours could make a huge difference for the survival of badly-affected businesses. Vos is also encouraged by a ‘falling infection rate’ in the Western Cape, after the second wave of COVID-19 stretched the province to its limits:

“I have written to Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, to implore her to consider and lobby for the lifting of the current curfew of 21:00 to 23:00… I do not make this request to change the curfew lightly – but this is a bid to save what is left of the hospitality sector.”

“I’ve been inundated with calls and correspondence from desperate businesses in hospitality,  who, after just managing to survive the first round of lockdowns, are now facing closure due to having to shut their doors at 20:00. Losing trading hours every night has pushed many businesses to the brink, with many not being able to retain customers, or pay bills.”

“We note that the infection rate in the Western Cape is stabilising. While the full extent of the various lockdowns on business closures and job losses is yet to be established, thousands of businesses and jobs have potentially been lost or are at risk. These businesses need every hour to keep their doors open, retain, and create jobs.

James Vos

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Presh JM Reporter

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