- The DA wants to know if President Ramaphosa will 'choose SA' over the ideological beliefs of the ANC
- This comes as the opposition party demands the immediate relaxation of the tobacco and liquor bans
- The party is adamant that the issue is now at the mercy of ANC members and their individual beliefs on the matter
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The Democratic Alliance has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to 'choose South Africa over ANC ideological battles' and lift the ban on alcohol and tobacco.
In a statement issued by DA Shadow Minister of Trade Dean Macpherson on Tuesday, the DA lamented the amount of tax revenue lost due to the prohibition:
"Since the ban on tobacco sales was instituted 139 days ago and an alcohol ban which was brought back without any warning or consultation, it is believed SA has lost up to R8 billion in taxes from these industries."
READ ALSO: Western Cape government demands that booze ban be lifted immediately
Another key issue brought up was the number of livelihoods on the line as well as the investment pulled as a result of the lockdown restrictions:
"There has been a tsunami of job losses in both industries which run past 100 000 jobs lost and more than R10 billion worth of investments that have been pulled from SA."
The opposition party is adamant that ANC politics and not the wellbeing of citizens is the main driver behind the ban being kept in place despite so much resistance:
"While the idea of these bans had started off well-intentioned to build up healthcare capacity, it is clear that they quickly morphed into an ideological battleground within the ANC and national cabinet, with President Ramaphosa being reduced to a mere spectator while his ministers repeatedly contradicted him on these issues."
The claim that these restrictions were put into place with the backing of scientific advisors has also been slammed as untrue by the DA:
"The president and his ministers are now in stark opposition to what our leading scientists are telling us and that is to drop the bans on alcohol and tobacco immediately."
With black market traders labelled the 'biggest winners' during the lockdown, the DA questioned whose side the government is really on':
"It remains to be seen, will President Ramaphosa choose SA over the wishes of the ANC and his ministers playing ideological roulette? Only time will tell."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the Western Cape government demands that the alcohol ban must be urgently lifted to prevent the loss of almost 200 000 jobs associated with the wine and hospitality industries.
The DA believes that the peak has passed in the Western Cape and if the correct precautions are followed alcohol sales could resume:
"We fully agree that alcohol-related harms are a major problem in our province and country. Our provincial data points to this. When the domestic sale of alcohol was suspended during the lockdown, and then again recently, the number of trauma cases dropped immediately. But we cannot view this in isolation of the other consequences of a continued 'ban' on the sale of alcohol is causing."
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