Liquor traders caution Ramaphosa against ‘unnecessary’ restrictions amid fourth wave

Liquor traders caution Ramaphosa against ‘unnecessary’ restrictions amid fourth wave

The National Liquor Traders Council has cautioned President Cyril Ramaphosa against imposing what it believes to be unnecessary restrictions.

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This comes amid the country’s fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, sparking fears of harsher lockdown restrictions during the festive period. 

Over a week ago, Ramaphosa announced the country would remain under level 1 despite the discovery of the Omicron variant.  

With the rising infections, Ramaphosa, his Cabinet and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) are now expected to meet again to decide on whether to revise the current restrictions.  

National Liquor Traders Council convenor Lucky Ntimane says the industry cannot afford to bear the brunt of the pandemic. 

“The fact that we have gone through 3 waves of Covid-19 already as a country should really call for the learnings we took to be put into practice to manage the current fourth wave. The President should already have a script to deal with this outside of the usual knee jerk reaction to ban alcohol, which has no basis in science and even basic common sense.  

“Our call for science to guide the President’s approach certainly leaves no room for a political science approach, strictly medical science is what should be considered and balancing this with an important matter of livelihoods.” 

Ntimane further calls on government to engage with the industry on a sustainable solution. 

“The alcohol industry has been hardest hit by government decisions to ban alcohol than by the Covid-19 pandemic itself and we have repeatedly cautioned government that there is indeed no vaccine for poverty.

“We must hasten to emphasize however that banning alcohol is not a strategy of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no medical science to support this misguided notion except perhaps for a political science consideration which clearly the President was guided by previously,” says Ntimane. 


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