spring forward 1 hour, vector icon with sun
  • South Africans are losing out on between 20 minutes and more than an hour at large in the sunshine every day, under the new 21:00 to 06:00 curfew.
  • Those in Durban – where the sun rises before 05:00 in mid summer – have to wait the longest after sunrise to leave their homes.
  • In Cape Town the impact is less pronounced, and there's so many daylight and sunshine hours that it doesn't really matter anyway.
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The extended curfew that came with South Africa's new Level 3 lockdown is locking people in their homes for as much as an hour after sunrise.

Since Tuesday, newly tightened rules include the requirement to be home between 21:00 and 06:00. Unless you are in possession of a the relevant permits or dealing with an emergency, being outside your home outside of curfew hours is illegal, and could be costly.

That has not been popular among early-morning runners.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that very early running, cycling, and other types of exercise spike in summer months not only because daylight is to be had, but to avoid the heat later in the day.

Measured in sunlight – as opposed to daylight – hours, the 06:00 end to curfew is costly.

In and around Durban, about as far east as you can get in SA, the sun currently rises at 04:58, meaning Durbanites have to spend more than an hour indoors while the sun is up.

See also | SA parents likely won’t get jail for kids with no masks – but shops should kick them out

Among the biggest cities, Port Elizabeth is the next hardest hit, with 51 minutes of curfew left after the sun rises.

Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein, all well to the west, lose 41 minutes of freedom in the sunshine.

Capetonians – who have the longest daylight and sunshine hours among South Africa's cities, 14 hours and almost 11 hours respectively – are the least affected, with current sunrise at 05:38.

A daylight-savings clock change, which could make for longer evenings to spend outdoors before the light fades, has been proposed and advocated in South Africa, but never seriously considered by the government. 

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