Booze uproar: tip-off line on the cards for whistleblowers

Officials agreed that drinking responsibly would help curb the spread of Covid-19. Image: FILE

As calls for a new booze ban grow in the Eastern Cape, house parties and other booze-related lockdown breaches may be the thing of the past.

This after the provincial government and the liquor industry agreed to set up a tip-off line for whistleblowers.

The provincial government met with leaders representing Consortium of Liquor Trader’s Associations of South Africa and Eastern Cape Liquor Trader’s Association to map out a way forward after alcohol related-challenges emerged under level 3 of the lockdown following the resumption of alcohol sales.

Officials agreed during the meeting that drinking responsibly would help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Alcohol has been blamed for the surge of car crashes and trauma incidents, putting the healthcare system under enormous pressure.

In the wake of these latest developments, premier Oscar Mabuyane earlier this week called for a new booze ban. His call was supported by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa).

In their letter to the premier, the liquor industry said they were concerned with the turnout of events since the resumption of sale of alcohol. They vowed to work hand in glove with the government to tackle liquor-related challenges.

The meeting received a report from Mabuyane, which explained the reasons behind his push for the reinstatement of booze ban in the Eastern Cape.

The province has approached President Cyril Ramaphosa to request that the National Command Council reinstate prohibition of both the trade and distribution of alcohol in the province until level 1.

Chairperson of the Consortium of Liquor Trader’s Associations of South Africa Lucky Ntimane promised that the liquor industry would work closely with the provincial government to fight alcohol abuse and protect “many lives from possible coronavirus infections that can occur when people abuse consumption of alcohol”.

Mabuyane welcomed the commitment made by liquor traders in the province and nationally. He said this showed that the sector cared more about the well-being of the people than profits.

“We will defeat this virus when we work together because a united effort can empower us to stop the spread of coronavirus,” said Mabuyane in a statement.

By Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

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