The ban on alcohol has had a detrimental effect on South Africa’s hospitality industry. As a result, the Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) has proposed that government lift the country’s alcohol ban and evening curfew, and instate new means of monitoring alcohol sales.
Speaking to BusinessTech, the Association’s Wendy Alberts said the proposal intends to introduce ‘triage areas’ if approved. This will mean that individual communities will take responsibility for any alcohol-related harm for a specific area.
Within the parameters of the proposal, individuals will also have to apply for a permit that allows them to purchase alcohol. The permit will most likely have to be obtained from a local police station.
If there are too-frequent alcohol-related problems originating from a specific area, they will be barred from selling liquor in that hotspot.
According to Alberts, RASA is also proposing that the curfew be lifted as this “serves no purpose” in light of the alcohol ban.
The proposal is officially being considered by government and a response is expected to be received by Wednesday, July 29.
According to government, there is a clear correlation between an increase in hospital trauma cases and the sale of alcohol during lockdown.
Medical experts from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of KwaZulu-Natal have said that the major decline in trauma cases at hospitals during lockdown levels 4 and 5 may not have been directly linked to the ban on alcohol. Instead, they believe it is more likely that the number of trauma cases dropped as movement was restricted during the “hard” lockdown phase. This may have stopped people from interacting and causing trouble, as well as kept more people off the country’s roads.