Ramaphosa urged to ignore calls to lift alcohol sale ban

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Parliament’s portfolio committee on health is urging President Cyril Ramaphosa to ignore calls for the alcohol sale ban to be lifted during lockdown.

The Gauteng Liquor Forum is threatening to head to court if Ramaphosa does not relax lockdown regulations to allow for the sale of liquor.

Last week Tuesday, Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown would be extended by two more weeks and will continue until the end of April.

Chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says the lockdown does not need people who have a poor sense of judgement.

“Once you drink alcohol you can never tell when you are going to get drunk. You are predisposed to be drunk. Once you are under the influence of alcohol, it inhibits your sense of judgement.

“You have a poor sense of judgement on the space, time and environment around you. I am saying the lockdown period can not afford to have people who have a poor sense of judgement,” says Dhlomo.

However, the Gauteng Liquor Forum has given Ramaphosa until Tuesday to lift or amend the regulation on the total ban on the sale of alcohol, or it will approach the Constitutional Court.

In a letter written to Ramaphosa, the forum, which represents 20,000 micro and small businesses in Gauteng, said they operated in the pursuance not only of their financial wellbeing but also in the exercise and protection of their legal and constitutional rights.

“We haven’t heard anything about the relief funding for liquor traders so that is our problem. If maybe they were plans for that, we would be speaking something different.

“We feed our families from our businesses. We are merely asking the president to relax the regulations,” says Ntshangase.

To date, 25 people have died of Covid-19 in the country with 2173 people now infected.

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