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Liquor industry: Govt must be consistent & consider lifting ban

The alcohol industry is hanging it’s hopes on comments recently made by two senior Medical Research Council officials, members of which believe the high pressure on the health system due to COVID-19- has not materialised.

A man in Soweto pours the alcohol he had in his possession during a police operation on Saturday, 06 June 2020, on the  first weekend since the level 3 lockdown which permits the sale of alcohol. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The alcohol industry is hopeful the ban on liquor sales will be lifted sooner than later.

It's hanging it’s hopes on comments recently made by two senior Medical Research Council (MRC) officials, who believe the anticipated pressure on hospital resources from the surge in COVID-19 infections hasn't materialised.

Just over three weeks ago, the ban was brought back due to a rise in trauma cases – many of them stemming from liquor abuse.

One council official said government should start preparing to lift the ban.

Industry spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said, “We would appeal that they need to be consistent in their approach. It was the MRC proposal to have the ban implemented, and the decision was based on MRC data. Therefore, if the MRC is recommending the opening of trade, government needs to consider that.”

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