- Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has weighed in on the controversial ban on liquor
- With the industry flagging under the pressure of the restrictions, the subject is being challenged
- However, Mkhize insists that now is not the time to relax the restrictions
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has commented on the continued calls for the liquor ban to be lifted.
The Minister had visited numerous healthcare centres in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, assessing the various institution's situations.
Currently, the province has been recording the highest number of Covid-19 infections nationwide.
Mkhize noted that the alcohol ban has assisted in reducing the number of beds reserved for non-Covid-19 related patients.
The return of the restrictions, while controversial, has been lauded as a relief by the Minister who commented that:
“At this point we are able to focus on the one crisis that whole country is facing. There is actually a huge relief that has come from the suspension of the sale of alcohol because most of those trauma cases are linked to irresponsible consumption of alcohol, irresponsible behaviour based on the consumption of alcohol.
Mkhize is hopeful that the ban remains firmly in place until the pandemic itself is under control:
Hopefully that’s going to continue for a while when we get this space to be able to manage people who are actually under the pressure of COVID-19.”
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the national lockdown ban on liquor could see the nation's glass packaging industry taking another R1.5 billion knock.
This after the restrictions returned for the third time as part of the effort to reduce the strain on the healthcare system amid the current pandemic.
The first bans collectively saw losses of over R1.5 billion in the industry alone, a massive strain over and above the challenges of the crisis.
Mike Arnold, Consol CEO, spoke to TimesLIVE to warn of another wave of job losses both at Consol and along its supply chain.
An extended ban, according to Arnold, would be nothing short of catastrophic to the company which supplies the liquor industry with packaging.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!
Source: Briefly News