Covid-19: Government refuses to lift liquor ban despite hints

Covid-19: Government refuses to lift liquor ban despite hints

- Despite hints of a possible relaxation of the restriction governing alcohol, the government has remained firm on the ban

- Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made it clear that the ban will stay in place for the duration of the lockdown

- This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa asked the Gauteng Liquor Board to stall legal action over the matter until Thursday

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The government's National Command Council has announced that the restrictions on alcohol will remain firmly in place.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has revealed that the laws will not be altered to allow for the sale of liquor

“We are stressing the prohibition of the transport of liquor. The only alcohol that is allowed to be transported, is the one that is used for commercial purposes… for our sanitisers. Liquor that you drink, is not allowed to be exported in the same way that it is not allowed to be sold.”

This comes despite intense public criticism and the threat of legal action over the ban imposed during the coronavirus lockdown.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Cele says those worried about alcohol aren't serious reported that the Gauteng Liquor Board had opted to take the government to the Constitutional Court to challenge the legality of the restriction.

In an answer to the legal action, the Presidency asked the board to hold off on the case until Thursday to allow the council to meet, hinting that a relaxation of the rules may be on the cards.

However, this now seems to have been some kind of stall tactic with the government doubling down on the ban.

During a media briefing on the amended regulations, Justice and Correctional Service Minister Ronald Lamola reiterated that both the South African Police Service and the National Defence Force would continue to tackle those who defy the laws.

Police Minister Bheki Cele had also refused to budge over the ban, slamming those who were calling for the ban to be lifted as 'not serious about life'.

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