Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
27 Jun 2021
4:43 pm

Speculation rife country could move to Level 4 lockdown

Sandisiwe Mbhele

As the third wave grips the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Sunday night. Expected to announce efforts to curb the Covid-19 cases.

Shoppers purchase alcohol at Makro in Crown Mines, Johannesburg, 18 August 2020.  The ban on alcohol sales was lifted today as South Africa entered level 2 of lockdown which allows for the sale and distribution of alcohol.  PIcture: Tracy Lee Stark

As President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation nears on Sunday evening, speculation is rife he will be moving the country to level 4 and announce a ban on alcohol sales.

The alcohol industry has pleaded with the president and members of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to reconsider imposing an alcohol ban.

Politicians have weighed in on reports that government will announce the closing of gatherings, a stricter curfew, an alcohol ban to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases in the third wave.

EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi shared on Twitter, this has been the response by the government to tackling the pandemic and but its not necessarily working. He further criticised Ramaphosa, adding there is never an “immediate effect” for other pressing societal issues.

TimesLIVE reported that a source close to the discussions taking place between the president and the council is expected to move the country to level 4 and ban alcohol sales.

Currently, the sale of alcohol is allowed from Monday to Thursday under level 3.  The alcohol industry has proposed that the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption should remain as is, between 10am and 6pm.

Registered wineries, microbreweries and distilleries should be allowed to continue at current level restrictions. The industry also supports the call for on-site consumption to be allowed at public establishments.

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Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said in a statement on Sunday, with Covid-19 cases soaring in Gauteng, “our health systems cannot cope, and while communities are inundated with news of friends and family taking ill or dying, this recklessness is potentially criminal.”

They condemned the protest action taken by the EFF on Friday, outside the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) offices in Tshwane.

“While these events may put on the veneer of ‘saving lives’, or standing up against monopoly capital, they are reckless attempts to be politically relevant or serve factional interests,” the foundation said.