The South African government is considering removing the alcohol bans they have put in place.
The government had initially stated that they have suspended alcohol once again because of the number of trauma cases that were rising when the alcohol ban was lifted the first time.
The government is considering a proposal by the Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) to lift the country’s ban on the sale of alcohol and the evening curfew.
Wendy Alberts from RASA suggested that people should have to apply for permits, to buy alcohol, at their local police station, or use their phones or there should be other forms of registration for the permit.
This would mean that tavern and bar owners would also have the responsibility of checking whom they are allowed to sell to and who they are not.
There would also be community-led interventions within hotspot areas that have high crime rates because of the consumption of alcohol.
This would help with banning areas that have such problems from selling and consuming alcohol.
Wendy Alberts also requested a lifting of the evening curfew as it serves no purpose considering the ban of alcohol is in place.
She confirmed that RASA’s proposal is officially being considered by the government and a response is expected today on the 29th of July 2020.
The National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC) has warned that another ban on the sale of alcohol threatens the livelihoods of more than 34 500 tavern owners in South Africa.
The NLTC stated that taverns, especially in townships, contribute R40 billion to R60 billion a year to the economy.
When asked when the bans will be lifted, President Ramaphosa stated that this is not a ban but a suspension for the government to help the health system to cope with Covid-19 cases first instead of trauma cases from alcohol which should not be a priority at the moment.
The government was adamant that the increase in hospital trauma cases was connected to the reintroduction of alcohol sales.
However, medical experts from the Universities of Witswatersrand and KwaZulu-Natal stated that the reduction of trauma cases was a result of the ‘hard’ lockdown which prevented people from interacting and getting into trouble.
They said that a better decision from the government would be to have tighter restrictions on the sale of alcohol, rather than banning it.