Senior Communication and Marketing Officer of the Social Accountability Unit, Pumlani Fani issued this media release.
The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) reported it is deeply concerned with cases of non-compliance by liquor outlets to Covid 19 health protocols, especially as the Province grapples with the rapid resurgence of Covid 19 cases. As a result, liquor outlets are characterised as super-spreaders of the Covid 19 in our Province.
“We strongly condemn liquor traders that wittingly or unwittingly flout the trading conditions and Covid 19 health protocols. It is extremely concerning that our people have become so complacent and are behaving as if Covid 19 does not exist at all,” said the ECLB Chief Executive Officer, Dr Nombuyiselo Makala.
ECLB has observed, with serious concern, that patrons that frequent liquor outlets completely disregard the Covid-19 health protocols. Often, they do not wear masks and do not observe social distancing. Various liquor outlets allow overcrowding in their establishments, which invariably undermines social distancing. Some liquor outlets ignore the trading times and trade outside the regulated trading hours. Dr Makala commented: “Prevention of the spread of the Covid 19 is a responsibility of everyone including the patrons who visit the liquor outlets; it cannot be left only to the discretion of the liquor traders.”
In response to this increasingly untenable situation in our liquor outlets, ECLB is intensifying its efforts to enforce compliance with Covid 19 restrictions and liquor licenses. Regular visits to liquor outlets are being conducted to clamp down on those that do not comply with regulations. In the event where liquor outlets are found to be flouting regulations, strict measures are taken to ensure that such behaviour does not recur. Part of the intervention incorporates educating communities on the dangers of reckless consumption of alcohol which may potentially exacerbate Covid 19 cases in the Province.
As we approach the Festive Season, many people may be inclined to consume liquor recklessly thus heightening cases of Covid 19 in our Province, hence we urge members of the community to consume alcohol responsibly in the comfort of their homes.
We urge community members to report any cases of non-compliance to the nearest police station or to the ECLB toll-free complaints line 0800 000 420 or WhatsApp Number 076-403-6223.
For all enquiries, contact the Eastern Cape Liquor Board spokesperson, Mgwebi Msiya, at (060) 501-6418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org