The post-1994 education system in South Africa, through Curriculum 2005 (C2005) and Outcomes Based Education (OBE) adopted an approach which allowed teachers considerable freedom in deciding on the learning content in the classroom. However, with the introduction of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) in 2011, the goalposts shifted and new accountability regimes emerged. The CAPS policy advocated uniformity and standardization of curricula across all grades, thereby limiting teacher initiative and creativity. This study was informed by the interpretive paradigm, whereby individuals use their subjective experiences to construct multiple realities about social phenomena. As a result, an interpretive, qualitative method of research was used. The aim of this research was to understand the subjective experiences of primary school teachers as to how their professional autonomy is influenced by the introduction of the CAPS policy. A multi-site (multiple) case study research design and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from participants. Purposive and convenient sampling was used to select two fee-paying schools and two non-fee-paying schools. Sixteen (16) participants, four per participating school, completed the sample. Content analysis was used to analyse transcribed data. The research found that the introduction of the CAPS policy severely compromised teacher autonomy in the classroom.