The government have reaffirmed their stance on the alcohol ban that has been put in place for lockdown. In a media briefing on Thursday [16 April], Minister Dlamini-Zuma stated that the laws would not be changed to allow for liquor sales.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister tasked with overseeing government’s response to the outbreak under the Disaster Management Act.
Law enforcement operations conducted by SAPS with support from SANDF will continue to identify illegal liquor distributors. Dlamini-Zuma stated, “We are stressing the prohibition of the transport of liquor. The only alcohol that is allowed to be transported, is the one that is used for commercial purposes… for our sanitisers. Liquor that you drink, is not allowed to be exported in the same way that it is not allowed to be sold.”
The current regulations surrounding the alcohol ban are predicted to be officially gazetted, meaning that these will be extended until lockdown ends, according to The South African.
President Ramaphosa further clarified the ban in his response to the Gauteng Liquor Forum, refusing to lift the ban.
“The President has carefully considered the representations made by the Gauteng Liquor Forum,” said the statement. “These however have had to be weighed up against the imperative of all South African businesses and citizens to comply with the lockdown regulations, the health implications of consumption of alcohol and the priority to ensure social distancing during this principle. As such, alcohol is not considered an essential good or item. It is in fact considered a hindrance to the fight against the coronavirus.”
He said those small businesses in need of financial assistance must apply to the government.
“Government stands ready to assist them within the available means to alleviate this hardship,” they said.