- The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in SA is now calling for booze restrictions
- This comes as the nation braces for an expected tightening of Covid-19 lockdown regulations
- The entity claims that the liquor industry hasn't done enough to implement
The South African Alcohol Police Alliance SA has now called for new regulations to govern liquor amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
An earlier report indicated that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be recalling ministers from their holidays in order to address the steep spike in infections.
SAAPA has now made a number of recommendations to the government in a dual effort to both curb Covid-19 infections in addition to preventing a complete industry shutdown.
The two main recommendations, according to TimesLIVE are the following:
- Maintain limitations on off-site consumption and suspend all on-premises sales and consumption (bars, taverns etc) in addition to completely banning alcohol advertising and promotions
- Maintaining curfew and the ban on events that draw large crowds
SAAPA SA expressed its sympathy for the alcohol industry's concerns over a possible ban on sales and the economic impact of this move but felt that it was more worried about financial gain:
“While Saapa SA is sympathetic to the plight of small operators in particular and their staff and families, we are concerned ‘self-regulation’ by the industry is inevitably subordinated to their economic interests and will therefore always be inadequate, especially in the midst of a pandemic."
SAAPA SA feels that the industry hasn't done enough to keeps its promise to ensure outlets observe protocols reports DispatchLIVE.
The group has now called on the government to implement the 2016 Liquor Policy on an urgent basis:
- This bill would make provision for:
- increasing the legal drinking age to 21 years
- holding distributors, retailers and traders liable for alcohol-related harm
- limiting alcohol advertising
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has responded to countless reports of a suspected tightening of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Taking to social media, Mboweni condemned these reports as fake news, commenting that:
"There is an escalation of fake news! This must be nipped in the bud and be punishable! We should wait for official communication to avoid misinformation."
Mboweni encouraged South Africans to await the final call from the government, saying:
"In the meantime follow health protocols! Please. Together we can limit the damage of Covid-19."
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