The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is meeting behind closed doors to discuss the current COVID-19 situation in the country. This as the number of new COVID-19 infections continue to rise and some provinces like Gauteng and the Free State have entered the third wave.
The council is expected to discuss implementing stricter lockdown measures to curb the rising numbers.
Prof Barry Schoub on the recent rise in COVID-19 positive cases in South Africa:
South Africa recorded 2 383 new coronavirus infections in the past 24-hour cycle, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 1 637 848.
72 more people have succumbed to COVID-related complications, taking the national death toll to 55 874.
Government is currently on its second rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which are targeted at vaccinating the elderly and those with underlying conditions.
Latest COVID-19 stats in SA:
National Liquor Traders Council seeks to meet with Ramaphosa
The National Liquor Traders Council has already written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to seek an audience with him to canvass and consolidate the views and proposals of their members and to make submissions to government that will address the unique challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The council says they want to find sustainable solutions, with government, to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The council says the traders they represent are law-abiding.
“Our businesses are in the main black owned and key local employers and economic contributors to the township economy and the country at large. The tavern sector is worth over R60 billion annually accounting for 80 – 90% of liquor sales in townships, and approximately 43% of total alcohol sales.
We are law-abiding liquor traders, licensed to sell liquor products that are regulated, and which do not contain illicit substances or ingredients that may be unfit for human consumption, such as those sold by the illicit trade,” says the council.
The council says it has noted the increase in hospitalisations due to the pandemic, but the fight against the virus should not to be detrimental to the economy.
They have asked that they still be allowed to operate.
“There is no doubt that as a country, one of the most important lessons that we have learnt from our past experiences of dealing with the pandemic is that we can still fight COVID-19 with a less negative impact on our economy.
In our case, liquor traders, can continue to operate, subject to fully complying with safe operating standards, in a way that was not always possible previously. Where restrictions in economic activity are required, these should be clearly explained with clear end dates. This allows businesses to plan, rather than facing an open-ended disruption which is significantly more difficult to manage and leads to far greater business distress and job losses. Setting clear end dates, or at least clear criteria upon which restrictions would be lifted (such as infection rates) is vital.”
The council has promised that liquor traders, will continue to play their part in the fight against COVID-19.