- Yet another political heavyweight has voiced support for South Africa to rethink its relationship with liquor
- Police Minister Bheki Cele has thrown his hat in with those who feel the alcohol ban should return
- This comes after a weekend of carnage and crime following the relaxation of the lockdown restriction
Police Minister Bheki Cele has voiced his support for the return of the liquor ban less than a week after the restrictions were eased.
Cele reminded citizens of their collective responsibility to act responsibly when consuming alcohol:
“While the alcohol ban has been lifted under Lockdown Level 2, it still remains the responsibility of those who consume alcohol to do so, without putting themselves and those around them in danger.”
This comes after a weekend of serious accidents in addition to a spike in criminal activity with Gauteng alone reporting over 700 arrests.
News24 reported that 48 deaths were recorded on Eastern Cape roads since the ban was lifted, 15 of which were pedestrians according to Transport spokesperson Khuselwa Rantjie.
In Mpumalanga, 28 accidents were reported with nine fatalities and over 50 citizens suffering serious injuries according to MEC Gabisile Tshabalala, who commented that:
“The easing of lockdown was done to open up the economy, but it does not the mean people can do as they please. Many lives are lost due to negligence and violation of rules. As much as we try not to lose many lives through the Covid-19 virus, we should not add into these numbers with road crashes."
Minister Cele lamented the deaths of three police officials after a high-speed pursuit ended in tragedy:
“If alcohol was consumed at home as per the government’s directive, the loss of lives could have been avoided. While this incident is a great loss to the Metro Police department, police officers will continue in their numbers, to enforce the law and clamp down hard on reckless behaviour brought on by alcohol abuse.”
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula had called for SA to consider tighter laws when it comes to liquor.
Commenting on the same incident, Mbalula said that alcohol abuse has been an issue long before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There is over access for people to get alcohol. People are out of control. We must now put our heads together. When government acts, nobody is going to say it’s unfair. It’s not about corona[virus]. This thing has been there.”
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