South Africans should be permitted to exercise in the afternoons too.
This was the call from Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on Saturday while he observed pedestrian and cycle traffic at the Sea Point promenade.
From his bicycle, Winde told News24: “Yesterday we saw congestion. I’m out exercising myself – but also having a look at what it’s like.
“I think we really need to relook at these regulations. Cape Town has sunrise a lot later than 06:00 in the morning. So many people in a densely populated city – it doesn’t make sense bottlenecking them all into a small window period.”
In other parts of South Africa, the sun rises earlier. In Cape Town, however, the first hour of the three-hour exercise window falls in pitch darkness.
Winde said they would “interact with the regulators”.
“I think we need to have a morning and an afternoon [exercise window]. We need to open it up, so people have a bit more space to exercise.”
He added that exercise was not a luxury, but essential for health: “It makes sense to allow people to exercise, because fitness, and healthy people, are going to help us fight the Covid-19 virus a lot better. So I think this regulation needs to be changed.”
Asked if he was happy with what he saw on the promenade on Saturday, compared to the crowds seen on Friday, Winde said: “There’s much less congestion today. Obviously five weeks of being bottled up inside your apartments meant that everyone had to get out.”
At 08:00 on Saturday, Sea Point remained shrouded in coastal fog and Winde predicted the medium traffic volumes would increase once the morning sun burnt off the mist.
“That window is just too small,” he repeated, referring to the 06:00 to 09:00 period allowed for exercise.