The Western Cape Liquor Authority is warning against the sale of alcohol during the lockdown. It says it has conducted 37 investigations on matters of non-compliance with the National Disaster Regulations.
Of the 37 investigations, 10 liquor licenses have been suspended.
“Any liquor vendor operating during the lockdown will be eligible for a fine and may lose their license, subject to an investigation. Members of the public who are aware of the illegal sale of alcohol to immediately report such to SAPS. Any persons wanting to lodge a complaint or report a contravention of the Regulations can contact the WCLA on 021 204 9805,” says Minister of Community Safety’s spokesperson, Cayla Murray.
Easing of lockdown in stages
Speaking at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, on Thursday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said there would be five coronavirus risk levels. President Ramaphosa said the ease on the COVID-19 lockdown regulations will see gradual and phased recovery of economic activity starting from next Thursday.
While he lifted the ban on the sale of cigarettes, the sale of liqour remains prohibited.
Below is the President’s full speech:
Below are the five stages of easing lockdown regulations:
Request to lift ban on sale of alcohol.
President Ramaphosa last week rejected a request by the Gauteng Liquor Forum to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol. The forum, which represents about 20 000 tavern and shebeen owners, has threatened to go to court.
NEWS: govt has responded to the Gauteng Liquor Forum and says in essence the total ban will remain: a) GLF members can get business relief from dept of tourism & b) a total ban helps keep hospitals free of alcohol-fueled trauma patients & so to keep resources to fight Covid-19 ? pic.twitter.com/EZlJllBYAt
— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) April 17, 2020
Police warning over alcohol
Police Minister Bheki Cele has called on the communities to respect the lockdown by not selling and buying alcohol. He made the call in Polokwane, Limpopo, ahead of a campaign to ensure compliance to the national regulations that are in place.
“There’s a big cry of alcohol here. Shut the shebeens down and be unkind to people that are breaking the law. ‘Vala joint’ people that move around drinking; tell them their lives will be better after 21 days, they’ll look good, they’ll look good after 21 days are finished, they’ll be yellow bones they’ll look good.”