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Ban on alcohol sales: Do the industry and South Africans only have themselves to blame?

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Yuki Shintani / Getty

Reckless behaviour due to alcohol intoxication has contributed to increased coronavirus infections and alcohol-related accidents and violence are putting pressure on hospital emergency units, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday evening.

On Sunday, South Africa passed the one million mark of confirmed coronavirus cases. Nearly 27 000 South Africans are known to have died from Covid-19 and more than 50 000 new cases have been reported since Christmas Eve.

That is why, despite acknowledging that the liquor industry is a major employer and an important contributor to SA's economy, Ramaphosa announced that the sale of alcohol by retail outlets and the on-site consumption of alcohol will not be permitted. Ramaphosa indicated that these regulations may be reviewed within the next few weeks if there is a sustained decline in infections and hospital admissions.

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