- There is no truth to the rumour that alcohol is going to be banned again, said COGTA
- Voicenotes have been circulating on WhatsApp that the alcohol ban would be reinstated on Wednesday
- Only the Eastern Cape is calling for a ban on the sale of alcohol so far
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The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has rubbished reports that it plans to reinstate the ban on alcohol sales.
On Monday, several voicenotes were doing rounds on WhatsApp claiming that the ban would be reinstated on Wednesday, 10 June.
The voicenotes claimed that the government would ban the sale of alcohol in a bid to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
On 1 June, the country's Covid-19 regulations were eased to lockdown Level 3, allowing for the sale of alcohol but still banning the sale of tobacco. The ban on tobacco sales in an ongoing contentious issue that the government is being taken to court for.
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COGTA spokesperson Lungi Mtshali confirmed that the rumours were nothing but misinformation. Mtshali said:
"Cabinet has not even met since the regulations came into effect, so there hasn't even been a discussion on the matter."
The ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes was announced in March under lockdown Level 5 and remained in place for Level 4 as well. The alcohol ban was finally lifted on 1 June when South Africa entered Level 3.
However untrue the rumours are, what is true is that the Eastern Cape government is calling for a ban on the sale of alcohol in the province.
Premier Oscar Mabuyane and Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba both reported that alcohol-linked trauma cases in hospitals around the province have increased and they are worried this will strain the EC health system.
According to the Premier, from 1 to 7 June, the Eastern Cape recorded 3 141 criminal cases linked to alcohol. This included 24 cases of culpable homicide, 94 cases of murder, 355 assaults with grievous bodily harm cases, 42 cases of attempted murder, 51 cases of drunk driving and 25 cases of accidents under the influence.
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