President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the country tonight at 8pm on developments in relation to the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
This is after meetings recently by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC), and Cabinet.
It also follows the arrival of South Africa’s first batch of vaccines, expected to be rolled out in a few days to healthcare and other frontline workers.
South Africans expect the president to relax restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
Liquor Traders Association convenor, Lucky Ntimane on Monday morning told The Citizen the industry expects to start trading on Tuesday.
“The issue of alcohol being allowed has been agreed already. There was a follow-up meeting on last week with the Natjoint. Natjoint focused on the social compact between government and the industry. Yesterday there was a meeting with the premiers, so that meeting also had a resolve on that,” he said.
South African Breweries (SAB) has already lodged an application in Western Cape High Court to challenge the constitutionality of the ban while some liquor traders have had to retrench workers due to the loss of income.
The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) staged several sit-ins at the Union Buildings last month over the alcohol ban. The association called on Ramaphosa to intervene and lift the blanket ban on alcohol sales.
The current amended Level 3 Lockdown regulations, announced by Ramaphosa mid-January, were only due to expire on 15 February.
Covid-19 cases have, however, been dropping as the number of recorded infections goes down, and the test positivity rate dropping, suggesting that the country has passed the peak of the second surge in infections. Hospital admissions are also declining.
The President is also expected to address the closure of beaches while several religious groups have called for government to allow religious gathering once more.
The closure of places of worship and national curfew from 9pm until 5am will also be in the spotlight
Watch the president’s address live below courtesy of the SABC: