Report: Ramaphosa told to relax tobacco, liquor lockdown bans

Report: Ramaphosa told to relax tobacco, liquor lockdown bans

- Cabinet has reportedly been advised to lift the tobacco and liquor bans in addition to a migration to Level 2 lockdown

- President Cyril Ramaphosa is now tasked with making a decision, which is expected later this week

- Senior government officials have called for these moves in light of the economic impact of the prohibitions

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A report says that the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet have been advised to not only shift SA to Level 2 of the national lockdown but also to lift the tobacco and liquor bans.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to make an announcement on the matter before the end of the week with the state of disaster set to expire.

Both the NCCC and Cabinet have met already and there is reportedly overwhelming support to fully reopen the economy. News24 reports that sources with knowledge of these discussions have indicated that the economic losses of the tobacco ban can no longer be justified.

The tobacco ban has prompted numerous legal battles in an attempt to overturn the ban and the report indicated that officials had admitted that the prohibition had not worked with illicit trade booming:

"We said this ban is not working. Cigarettes are sold. Alcohol is sold openly now. Our ban is pointless."

Ramaphosa will now need to make the call after being advised to relax the tobacco and liquor bans. Image: GCIS/ Flickr
Source: Twitter

READ ALSO: COSATU wants liquor ban lifted: Government must protect jobs

A report from TimesLIVE states that South Africa may be migrating to Level 2 this week should Cabinet accept a recommendation to open up the economy.

A forum consisting of directors-general of national departments recently met and agreed to submit the recommendation to the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Despite immense excitement over the possibility of a relaxation, no official word has been handed down and citizens will have to wait for the anticipated 'family meeting' with President Ramaphosa to find out what the next move will be.

Earlier, reported that both the Democratic Alliance and, more recently, COSATU have joined the mounting calls for the restrictions to be lifted.

Both groups have lamented the economic devastation of the prohibition and called for the government to reconsider this uncommon response to the pandemic. With SA recording fewer Covid-19 cases even Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has hinted that this week will hold some 'good news' for the nation.

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