Cheers! Why the alcohol ban may be lifted ‘sooner than first thought’

After more than a month without booze, things are – apparently – moving fairly quickly behind the scenes for the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), and our officials in Cabinet. Following a grim festive season, developments over the last five weeks may lead to a ‘premature lifting’ of the current alcohol ban.

Cabinet meetings ‘to discuss Level 3 lockdown laws’

Several factors are at play, here: The first thing to consider is that the criteria for easing Level 3 restrictions – set out by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in mid-January – already seems to have been met: The rates of new infections, hospitalisations, and deaths have all tumbled significantly, and this data is likely to support any move that puts booze back on the shelves.

Secondly, the activity from the inner circle of government has been fervent this weekend. According to reports from Bloomberg and News24, President Cyril Ramaphosa has consulted fellow members of Cabinet, the Presidential Coordinating Council, and Nedlac about the possibility of ending the alcohol ban ‘sooner rather than later’.

Ramaphosa has another engagement with Nedlac on Monday, and a scheduled high-level meeting with Cabinet on Wednesday. Should a consensus be found between all parties over the next few days, the period of prohibition for liquor sales in South Africa would come to a sudden, yet welcome end.

When might the alcohol ban end in South Africa?

On Monday 15 February, the State of Disaster laws are likely to be extended. This was initially believed to be the earliest date that the alcohol ban could be rescinded – but the government has not ruled out bringing this matter forward. With some suggesting that another ‘family meeting’ is on the horizon, drinkers of SA may soon have something to celebrate.

No confirmation has been shared by government sources as of Monday morning, but with new daily infections now just one-quarter of what they were a few weeks ago, the foundations to ‘bring back booze’ have been laid firmly.

from The South African

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post