Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says that government will re-evaluate the country’s alcohol ban on a regular basis, News24 reports.
Responding in court papers in a case brought by the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai), Dlamini-Zuma said that this review would consider the hardships facing the economy and livelihoods during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“It is contemplated that the suspension of the sale of liquor will be re-evaluated with regularity as government aims to also limit hardships facing the economy and individual livelihoods during this period.”
“There is no desire on the part of government to leave this prohibition in place for longer that it is regarded necessary,” she said.
While government has given no indication as to when a review will take place, or when the country could move to a lower alert level, its hand may ultimately be forced as it faces increasing pressure by the liquor industry through the country’s courts.
Saai argues that these regulations are threatening the existence of some of the oldest family farms in South Africa and are shackling a sector that competes with the best in the world and that plays a key role in the economy, Business Tech reported.
The government’s statement that the regulations are implemented to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to prevent an overburdened healthcare system simply does not hold water.
“Government pretends to want to save the economy, but apply double standards when it comes to the application thereof.”
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