Democratic Alliance Leader John Steenhuisen says imposing a restriction on off-site alcohol sales for four days around Easter is not only entirely unscientific, “it also places an unnecessary further strain on the livelihoods of those who make their living in this sector”.
On Tuesday evening, 30 March 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and said given the role of alcohol in fuelling reckless behaviour, the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption will be prohibited on Easter weekend.
Steenhuisen said this is the action of a government completely out of ideas and out of touch with the plight of its citizens. A government whose own generous salaries are not affected by its arbitrary decrees.
“The first two alcohol bans were directly responsible for 165,000 lost jobs in South Africa. Each of those jobs sustained a household sometimes more. Over two-thirds of businesses surveyed by Cape Town Tourism had to let staff go.”
Steenhuisen added that last year, when the government introduced alcohol bans, people were told this was to spare hospital beds. “Yet very little was done since then to increase hospital capacity in eight of our nine provinces.”
He further said the government has taken this ineffective action to mask the fact that it has failed so spectacularly to vaccinate its people. “While other middle-income countries across the world are vaccinating at rates of 70,000 to 150,000 people a day, we are yet to start with our programme.”