The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken note that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is considering curbing the sale of alcohol from Monday to Thursday in so-called “hotspots” as well as recommending that hospitality establishments such as restaurants and bars should stop serving food and alcohol by 9pm.
These two recommendations will be devastating to our economy as well as thousands of restaurants across South Africa that have only begun to get back on their feet following a protracted lockdown. These are also not sustainable solutions going forward as businesses cannot factor in a ‘stop/start’ approach every time there is a “wave” of Covid-19.
What we need to ensure is that the law is enforced, including alcohol-related behaviour change. This is what SAPS and Metro Police should be doing on a daily basis however, government want to punish restaurants for its policing failures.
South Africans are about to embark on their holidays to inject much needed money into local economies across the country. That is if they are assured they will still be able to enjoy themselves. If they are being forced to leave a restaurant at 9pm or being told to be in bed by 10pm, they may very well reconsider spending their hard-earned money which would be devastating.
While we are not unaware of the strain the healthcare system is under, this is entirely of the making of National Government that has failed spectacularly since 26 March 2020 to build any meaningful healthcare capacity. If this capacity existed, as we were told was the reason for the initial lockdown, then we would not be having this conversation in the first place.
It is once again hard-working South Africans in the liquor and restaurant businesses that will pay with their jobs to cover up for government failures.
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