Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, a Tweet from the South African Government’s official account said the sale of alcohol and tobacco will remain banned for the duration of lockdown. Since then, an official apology has been published via the account, saying it was a “mistake”.
“This account posted a tweet earlier today which said that the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes would remain in place throughout the lockdown period. This is incorrect. The sale of alcohol and tobacco products is prohibited under the current Level 3 regulations,” the account said. “This decision may be reviewed at any time by the relevant structures should the conditions which necessitated it change. We regret any confusion the tweet has caused.”
This account posted a tweet earlier today which said that the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes would remain in place throughout the lockdown period. This is incorrect. The sale of alcohol and tobacco products is prohibited under the current Level 3 regulations.
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) July 22, 2020
This government seems to be drinking on the job…
— Matthew Pretorius (@mattaaron1989) July 22, 2020
So why did the first tweet go out? What happened to checking the facts before blurting it out?
— Deeterbee (@Dida_21296) July 22, 2020
You can barely accomplish addressing the nation over a social media platform, how in a Gods name can you expect us to trust you to run our country??
— Aubrey Strawberry (@aubs_G) July 22, 2020
Who won the tender to run this account pic.twitter.com/OsKPACknRK
— TruthBeTold (@_Forplayer_) July 22, 2020
This is not the first time Government has backtracked on an announcement. A few weeks ago they published an infographic saying leisure travel within one’s province will be allowed, only to retract it the following day.
And that wasn’t the first either. During a national address, President Cyril Ramaphosa eluded to the cigarette ban being lifted under Level 3 restrictions, only to have it denied by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma shortly afterward.