DA leader John Steenhuisen has reportedly urged President Cyril Ramaphosa not to impose a ban on the sale of alcohol ahead of the Easter weekend.
According to IOL, Steenhuisen said it would be important for government not to impose a hard lockdown.
“With our economy on its knees, more than 40% of South Africans unemployed and poverty and hunger at levels never seen before in the country, we simple cannot afford the blunt too of a nation-wide lockdown.
“We should not be considering blanket bans on the sale of alcohol or curfew extensions that achieve nothing other than the decimation of the restaurant industry,” Steenhuisen was quoted as saying.
Steenhuisen’s sentiments came a few days after liquor industry stakeholders also warned the government not to put in place a hardlockdown that could see a ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks.
The warning came as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet was set to meet and discuss the possible introduction of a higher lockdown level over the Easter weekend period.
Gatherings and festivities
The government was advised last week to go on a stricter lockdown level, as a precautionary measure for the Ester holiday.
Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 said gatherings and festivities during the period could result in increased COVID-19 numbers.
But according to Business Insider, the liquor industry said the government should instead lengthen curfew, and reduce the number of people allowed to gather, ahead of the Easter weekend.
The stakeholders said in a joint statement that restrictions on liquor should be reserved “only if hospital capacity becomes severely stretched”.
They also said that any curfew measures and alcohol restrictions, if they were to be introduced, should still allow off-premises sales to allow for home consumption, BusinessTech reported.
“We do not think that a total ban on alcohol sales will be a solution either in the short or long term.
“A complete shutdown of liquor sales would mean an end to the tartan market and the 250 000 direct jobs linked to the sector,” they said.
Picture: Cape Town etc