It's not essential - Ramaphosa upholds alcohol sale ban

The Gauteng Liquor Forum had approached the president asking for lockdown regulations to be relaxed to allow for shebeen and tavern owners to run a limited service.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses South African Local Government Association National Members Assembly at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has denied the Gauteng Liquor Forum permission to distribute and sell alcohol.

The forum had approached the president asking for lockdown regulations to be relaxed to allow for shebeen and tavern owners to run a limited service.

In his response on Friday, the president’s lawyers have denied that prohibiting the sale and distribution of alcohol is unconstitutional as stated by the forum.

“The government has adopted a stance of seeking to maximise the effects of the lockdown, by seeking to minimise commerce except with regard to truly essential services. The sale of alcohol is self-evidently not an essential service. On this basis alone, it was considered that the sale of alcohol should not be permitted."

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A statement said Cabinet and the national command council met again this week to further consider the economic implications of the continued lockdown on South Africa.

“Prohibiting the sale of alcohol is also aimed at ensuring compliance with the Lockdown Regulations, social distancing protocols and proper hygiene practices by reducing or eliminating the number of intoxicated persons, in light of experience of non-compliance by intoxicated persons in general.”

It remains to be seen whether the forum’s lawyers will take this matter to court as promised.

Presidential response to Ga... by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd