President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked the Gauteng Liquor Forum for an extension to respond to their demands regarding the liquor ban under lockdown.

The Gauteng Liquor Forum, made up of tavern and shebeen owners across the province, sent the President a letter last week in which they asked for the liquor ban under lockdown regulations to be lifted. In their letter, they argue that the liquor ban has had detrimental effects on their business.

Ramaphosa was given until midday today, April 14, to respond to their demands. The forum threatened court action if the President did not respond in a timely manner.

The Presidency has now responded, asking for more time pending a meeting with the National Command Council and other relevant stakeholders scheduled to take place this week. They have requested until close of business on Friday, April 17 to respond.

“The National Command Council, the Presidency and other relevant parties are meeting again this week, specifically to discuss the details of Government’s economic assistance programme,” reads the response from the Office of the State Attorney.

“This includes assistance offered to small businesses such as those of your clients, and other measures to mitigate the effects of the lockdown extension. We anticipate that the results of these discussions may well have a bearing on the issues raised by your client. Therefore, in order to be in a position to respond to your letter fully, we ask that you afford us until close of business Friday, 17 April 2020, to respond to your letter.”

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