It has been a month since President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and tonight announced that alcohol will be suspended immediate effect.
The nation listened to the President tonight, only to once again be more demotivated than before. In tonight’s address the President said that the current numbers for COVID-19 are as follows: 276,242 confirmed cases, 12,000 new cases every day and at least 4,079 people have died.
With a rapid surge of cases in South Africa, our country is currently 9th in the world according to the website JHU CSSE COVID-19 Dashboard.
“On the recommendation of the National Coronavirus Command Council, Cabinet has therefore decided that the country will remain at alert level 3 at this time, but that we should however strengthen the enforcement of existing regulations and take certain additional measures,” said President Ramaphosa.
These measures are:
- Regulations on the wearing of masks will be strengthened.
- Employers, shop owners and managers, public transport operatorsandmanagers and owners of any other public building are now legally obliged to ensure that anyone entering their premises or vehicle must be wearing a mask.
- All workplaces and all institutions need to ensure that there is a designated coronavirus official responsible for making sure that all regulations and all precautions are strictly adhered to.
- Taxis undertaking local trips will now be permitted to increase their capacity to 100%, while long distance taxis will not be allowed to exceed 70% occupancy, on condition that new risk mitigation protocols related to masks, vehicle sanitising and open windows are followed.
- The sale, dispensing and distribution of alcohol will be suspended with immediate effect.
- A curfew will be put in place between the hours of 9 pm and 4 am. The curfew will take effect from tomorrow, Monday, 13 July 2020 at 9 pm.
“There is now clear evidence that the resumption of alcohol sales has resulted in substantial pressure being put on hospitals, including trauma and ICU units, due to motor vehicle accidents, violence and related trauma,” said the President.
The National Liquor Traders Council has formally written to the President today to ensure that the sale of alcohol does not get banned during the lockdown.
The National Liquor Traders Council represents approximately 50 000 traders. These traders mostly operate in the townships of the country.
20% of these taverns have indicated that they will not be able to reopen should the lockdown reach Level 0.
Tobacco sales are still banned.
The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) is confident after being granted permission to appeal an earlier ruling dismissing its application to overturn the ban on cigarette sales.
The Pretoria High Court will hear the matter on 15 July via Zoom.
There are activities that may proceed under strict restrictions:
- All auctions will be permitted subject to protocols similar to those that currently apply to agricultural auctions.
- Parks will be open for exercise, but not for any form of gathering.
The President continued: “To ensure that we have the means to continue to respond effectively to this severe health emergency, Cabinet has approved the extension of the national state of disaster to the 15th of August 2020.”
The President ended his speech with: “Let us remember that whether we are a family with an infected member, a business owner worried for their staff or a parent concerned for the safety of their children, that none of us stands alone.
Now, more than ever, we are responsible for the lives of those around us.”