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Ramaphosa asks for extension to respond to liquor sale demands

The forum, made up of tavern and shebeen owners from across the province, wrote to the president last week asking him to lift the lockdown regulations regarding the sale and distribution of alcohol or meet them in court.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on 10 April 2020 joined an online Good Friday Liturgy live from his home in Johannesburg led by the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked for an extension until Friday to respond to the demands made by the Gauteng Liquor Forum.

The forum, made up of tavern and shebeen owners from across the province, wrote to the president last week asking him to lift the lockdown regulations regarding the sale and distribution of alcohol or meet them in court.

They said their businesses suffered immensely since the declaration of the state of disaster last month.

The Gauteng Liquor Board had given Ramaphosa until midday on Tuesday to respond to their demands on the lockdown regulations.

They want to be able to offer a limited service during the lockdown in order to survive.

But on Tuesday, the president said he could respond to this request at this stage.

A letter from the state lawyers said the National Command Council would sit this week to discuss the government's assistance programme and this matter would also be discussed.

It said while the president remained willing to engage with constructive proposals made by all sections of society, there were already various initiatives like the tourism relief fund, which sought to assist small business.