EDITORIAL | Be angry at partygoers, not Ramaphosa, for new booze ban

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reintroduced a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol, as the country approaches the 300 000 mark for cases of Covid-19.

Millions of South Africans will be angry with Ramaphosa, who appeared very frustrated as he announced the country would remain on alert Level 3, but with stricter regulation and enforcement.

But it is not the president we should condemn. Over the past month, since the sale of alcohol was reinstated and restaurants reopened, many South Africans continued life like the global pandemic was over.

Many people organised parties, braais, dinners and social gatherings, while this was still outlawed by the lockdown regulations.

To a degree, it is understandable that people have the need to socialise and carry on as if things are "normal". But the hard truth is things are not.

As a country, South Africa has not yet reached our peak in infections. Although the Western Cape may seem to be over the worst, a prolonged peak seems to be the consensus for the province.

Gauteng and the Eastern Cape are spiking, with KwaZulu-Natal showing a growing increase in cases and deaths.

The government has limited levers to pull to curb the coronavirus from spreading. Ramaphosa took the right decision not to move the country back to Level 4 or 5; this would have been devastating for the economy and education.

So, what remained was for the president to be stricter about Level 3 regulations, including the alcohol ban. It is a pity that the majority of people should be punished for the sins of a minority, but Ramaphosa cannot be faulted for reinstating the ban after several reports of "after tears" gatherings, large funerals and parties.

It would be prudent of South Africans to remember that the pandemic is far from over. We have no idea when we will reach our peak and projections still show up to 40 000 deaths by the end of the year.

The only way to avoid this is by self-regulation; wear your cloth mask, wash your hands and keep a physical distance.

The one piece of good news from Ramaphosa's Sunday-evening address was the opening of parks for exercise (not gatherings).

Thousands of walkers and runners, young and old, will rejoice at the news that they can now access their greenbelts. - Editor

Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
The Rugby Championship looks set to be hosted November and December, with New Zealand a likely destination. Would you be confident in the Boks defending their title?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the Boks will be undercooked compared to their Australian and New Zealand counterparts.
35% - 1487 votes
The All Blacks will win easily if all the games are staged in New Zealand.
24% - 1033 votes
Underprepared or not, the Boks should jump at any sort of opportunity to play Test rugby.
41% - 1725 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
17.20
(-0.08)
ZAR/GBP
22.49
(-0.04)
ZAR/EUR
20.24
(-0.11)
ZAR/AUD
12.26
(-0.24)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.03)
Gold
2016.30
(+2.16)
Silver
25.89
(+6.95)
Platinum
939.00
(+2.23)
Brent Crude
43.86
(+1.45)
Palladium
2132.99
(+2.41)
All Share
56248.93
(+0.75)
Top 40
51951.34
(+0.74)
Financial 15
9878.55
(+0.75)
Industrial 25
74943.49
(+0.27)
Resource 10
57327.85
(+1.31)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo