Pretoria – President Cyril Ramaphosa should have adjusted the curfew to stop the spread of the coronavirus over the Easter weekend instead of banning off-site consumption.
The remarks were made by alcohol traders who said they appreciated the opportunity to continue trading for on-site consumption, but did not believe the ban on off-site consumption will make a significant difference.
Tshwane Tourism Association Restaurant Charter Chairman Christian Maiorana and Tshwane Affected Liquor Dealers Association Chairman Oupa Mthombeni said that although they were grateful that their sectors activity are not disadvantaged, the curfew should have been adjusted to keep people home earlier.
They said that while not being greedy and selfish, there is nothing stopping people from cramming on alcohol right now so they can consume their liquor offsite over Easter weekend.
On the other hand, some people may just go to restaurants, pubs and taverns and have a drink and then go home, they said.
Maiorana said he actually believed the president would adjust the curfew so people don’t stay late and end up on the roads at night because that’s what created the problems.
He said: “If you think about it, hospital beds are not occupied by people who drink off-site, but by people who drink over-limit on site and then drive home to their homes. or on foot. This is one of the reasons I thought and expected the government to try to limit the number of people outside at night. “
Mthombeni said yesterday that taverns did not start seeing people trying to buy wholesale for drinking from their homes between Friday and Monday, when sale for off-site consumption will be banned.
However, he said it was the end of the month so anything is possible and people might as well fill up the booze outlets on Thursday because people like last minute things.
“I think this is where we should not be selfish and be grateful for how little the government is giving us to continue, but also recognize that tighter curfew restrictions would help.”
However, the new restrictions are not so favorable to all sectors of the alcohol industry, as retail alcohol outlets that only have commercial licenses for off-site consumption will have to close their doors and send their workers home over the Easter weekend.
Tops general manager at Spar in Lynnwood Lane and Wapadrand Hendri van der Walt said their side of the industry did not think the government’s move made sense as the biggest culprits are alcohol consumers on place and not people who want to drink peacefully. in their homes.
“What can we do, they say life is unfair and this is one of those cases. I actually expected the government to ban drinking there and then reduce the curfew and limit trading hours for us so people could buy and drink their alcohol. their homes while being forced to observe social distancing. “
Van der Walt said people flocked to their outlets to buy wholesale yesterday ahead of Ramaphosa’s address because they weren’t sure what to expect and whether any bans would be imposed immediately, as he said. did in December when he brought the country back to alert level one. He said they expected customers to increase on Thursday as people look to stock up.
On the other hand, the South African Beer Association has criticized the government’s four-day ban on off-site alcohol sales, calling it unnecessary and harsh as it threatens livelihoods. families employed by industry.
However, some influential public figures like EFF chief Julius Malema were actually calling for a total ban on alcohol and seeing it as the biggest sabotage problem in the battle against the pandemic.
Malema said young people liked alcohol but nothing good came out of it, as it made them do silly things like putting bottles of Savanna on their heads while busy consuming another, in a a trend from which cider-making has distanced itself.
News from Pretoria