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DA files court papers to challenge regulations on exercise, e-commerce and 8pm curfew

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The party is challenging the rationality of certain restrictions.

Johannesburg – DA interim leader John Steenhuisen says the DA will file papers at the High Court to challenge the rationality of certain restrictions put in place by the government to help decrease the spread of the coronavirus. 

Steenhuisen reiterated the DA’s calls for the lockdown to end, saying it was becoming far too costly for the economy. The party has been controversial in its calls for the lockdown to be stopped. Steenhuisen said some of the regulations have no proven connection to decreasing the spread of the virus. 

The country went into a hard lockdown on March 27. From May 1 the levels of restrictions were moved to level four. This meant some parts of the economy could resume operations but citizens’ movement remained restricted. 

The main three issues the DA will be challenging deal with the Disaster Management Act regulations pertaining to exercise, an 8pm curfew on movement and the restrictions on e-commerce. 

With exercise, citizens were allocated three hours in the morning, between 6am and 9am, to exercise.

An 8pm curfew means no citizen is allowed to travel after that time until 5am unless one has a permit. 

Steenhuisen criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Wednesday night speech saying it had offered little information on ending the lockdown. 

He said the hard lockdown currently implemented should be ended and replaced with a “smart lockdown” that would see most South Africans return to work. 

Ramaphosa tried to put many South Africans’ concerns at ease on Wednesday and said extensive consultations would get under way to prepare for most parts of the country moving from level 4 to level three by the end of May. He said areas that were seen as hotspots would remain under strict regulations. 

The president said the lockdown had helped in slowing down the rate of infections and allowed for the health care system to prepare for a rise in cases as the country gradually opens up. 

As of Wednesday, there were 12 074 cases and 219 deaths. There have been 4 745 recoveries and 386 352 tests have been conducted. 

The biggest rise in cases over the past few weeks had been seen in the Western Cape. 

The province’s premier, Alan Winde, said that in consultations with the government he would insist the Western Cape should move to level 3 as the healthcare system was ready to handle a flood of cases. 

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