#AlcoholHasFallen: South Africans react to renewed alcohol ban

alcohol ban beer bottles

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.

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.

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.

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

Megan Ellis, Editor
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