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Following the announcement from President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night, South Africans have reacted to the renewed and immediate ban on alcohol with #AlcoholHasFallen.
On 12 July, the president announced amendments to South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown regulations. This included a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol, a renewed curfew (9pm to 4am), and stricter mask regulations.
However, the amendments also now allow taxis and public transport to operate at full capacity for trips under 200km. Meanwhile, beaches and parks are no longer prohibited for residents.
As of 12 July, South Africa had a total of 276 242 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4079 deaths. Gauteng, the new epicentre in South Africa, now has 98 431 confirmed cases.
The ban on alcohol received mixed reactions from users.
Some applauded the decision due to alcohol’s role in gender-based violence, domestic abuse, and emergency room visits.
Trauma cases due to alcohol-related incidents are seen as an additional burden on the strained healthcare system.
Alcohol must never comeback. When they are drunk they beat us, they don't comeback home, kids don't get pocket money, they can't perform in bed, they fight and get beaten, they crash cars. #AlcoholHasFallen pic.twitter.com/GJ5vta6pNj
— Sli (@Sli22892494) July 13, 2020
— Yung W33ZY😎 (@Yung_W33ZY) July 13, 2020
However, others lamented the ban in light of the many restrictions and challenges already facing South Africans. This includes job losses and Eskom’s return to load shedding amid a severe cold front.
— Nelisiwe Khuzwayo (@NelisiweKhuzway) July 13, 2020
— Tshepo🇿🇦 (@kengBothata) July 13, 2020
Meanwhile, others pointed to the perceived disconnect between strict laws on alcohol but fewer restrictions on public transport or other areas affecting the spread of the virus.
— Collen (@KCollenm1) July 13, 2020
Is it possible that alcohol is now a scapegoat for govts inability to enforce laws and regulations as well as cover up for a health system that failed to respond to the early covid warnings?
— mawande sineke (@sinekem) July 12, 2020
Some South Africans will likely return to brewing alcohol at home or buying illicit alcohol. In fact, some Twitter users vowed to.
Feature image: Thanh Serious on Unsplash