South Africa - Durban - 26 March 2020 - Last minute panic buy of groceries and alcohol lots of people went out in large numbers from big retail companies in Durban. Picture Motswari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Alcohol ban will not be lifted – Ramaphosa

CAPE TOWN- President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that the national alcohol ban will not be lifted until the end of the lockdown because the “sale of alcohol is self-evidently not an essential service”.

Earlier this week, the Gauteng Liquor Forum sent a letter to President Ramaphosa and argued that the total ban on the selling of alcohol is unreasonable and falls outside the scope of the Disaster Management Act.

The forum represents about 20 000 tavern and shebeen owners in the province.

The Office of the State Attorney released a statement on Friday saying that after discussions held this week with the National Command Council, Cabinet and the President, “the decision was taken not to ease the restrictions on the sale of alcohol during the lockdown”.

“The government has adopted a stance of seeking to maximise the effects of the lockdown, by seeking to minimise commerce except with regard to truly essential services. The sale of alcohol is self-evidently not an essential service. On this basis alone, it was considered that the sale of alcohol should not be permitted.”

The statement further said that the sale and consumption of alcohol has proven links to an increase in violent crime, motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies and results in full emergency rooms and hospitals.

 

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