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’SA is very much open for business and visitors’: Calls mount for curfew to be lifted on New Year’s Eve

File picture: Pexels

File picture: Pexels

Published Dec 28, 2021

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Hundreds of South Africans are calling for the curfew on New Year’s Eve to be lifted.

The Hospitality Leadership group had started a petition two days ago urging President Cyril Ramaphosa to end the curfew. Currently, South Africa is on an adjusted level 1 with a curfew set in place from midnight until 4am.

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The petition garnered approximately 480 signatures at the time of publication.

The petition reads: “For the last 21 months, we’ve been living with a curfew that has not shown to have any effect on the transmission of the Covid-19 virus that is not known to keep working hours.

“Instead, it has introduced an element against our very democracy that infringes on our basic rights enshrined in the constitution. It goes against the very ethos of what the majority of South Africans fought for over the decades.

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The petition noted that South Africa had seen enormous “economic devastation” from lockdowns and “seen blows to our reputation”.

“We should be sending a message to the world that South Africa is very much open for business and visitors. We need at this stage not just a passive signal but an active one. Ending the curfew is the message we so desperately need, and NYE is the perfect time to do so.”

The group said that the curfew is “beginning to have the taste of a police state”, and they argue that lockdowns go against freedom and the constitution.

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“Celebrating New Year’s Eve 2021 under curfew rule would invite unequal use of power by the police,” they added.

Earlier this week, #NoCurfewOnNewYearsEve trended on Twitter, with hundreds calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to end the curfew before January 1.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said ending the curfew is an easy and logical way to boost the economy, adding that economy and national morale need to be boosted.

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