‘Lifting of sales ban on alcohol, cigarettes long overdue’

It’s been a long journey since the start of the lockdown in March and there are fears some businesses will never recover from the economic fall-out of COVID-19.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - While government’s decision to move the country to level 2 lockdown has largely been welcomed, many have cautioned the real work to revive the economy has only just begun.

It’s been a long journey since the start of the lockdown in March and there are fears some businesses will never recover from the economic fall-out of COVID-19.

Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Saturday night came amid a decline in the infection rate.

He said South Africa was seeing signs of hope, which have spurred government to respond differently to the pandemic.

He announced that the ban on tobacco sales can be lifted, while alcohol will also be sold.

Civic organisation Tax Justice South Africa said the lifting of the ban was long overdue and must now be accompanied by an urgent crackdown on the those its enriched through illegal trade.

The president also revealed that inter-provincial travel will be allowed.

Sun International said while its delighted by the move, it’s unfortunate the curfew was not further relaxed and remains at 10 pm.

Group COO Graham Wood said: “We’re especially grateful for the relaxation of inter-provincial travels. This will allow the domestic tourism industry to start moving. This also affects a resort like Sun City and we’ll make announcements on when it reopens on due course.”

The new regulations will kick in from the early hours of Tuesday morning.

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