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With the number of COVID-19 cases rising steadily and no end in sight to this global pandemic, the South African government has again made the decision to ban the sale, distribution, and transport of alcohol with immediate effect.

The significant daily increase in the number of infections is placing immense strain on our healthcare system and, as a result, the regulations in place are being tightened to ease pressure on the country’s healthcare system and slow down the spread of the coronavirus. 

During his speech on 12 July 2020, the President said that the pressure on the country’s healthcare system was too high and that these extreme measures were needed to ensure that the country’s hospitals deal only with coronavirus cases and not alcohol-related trauma incidents.

Whilst one can understand that the capacity in hospitals around the country is strained, and that something needed to be done to alleviate the pressure, there are those who are concerned that the resumption of the ban on sales will most certainly affect people working as part of the “liquor industry value chain”. There are also many members of the public who are disappointed with the decision, which was made without warning.

People are upset that this ban had given them no opportunity to replenish what little stock they had before the end of Thursday last week.

Unfortunately, what has become quite evident, much to the dismay of those that understand and follow the rules, there are too many people out there who have not acted responsibly when consuming alcohol, resulting in the rest of the country being restricted yet again.

Author – Jessica Gooding

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