President Cyril Ramaphosa held what many consider a ”family meeting to address the current status of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The president took to the hot pulpit on Monday evening to announce that the sale of alcohol from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday.
Ramaphosa said that registered wineries and wine farms could continue to offer tastings and wine sales to the public for off-site consumption over weekends.
He also announced that the national curfew has been extended from 11pm to 4am.
While big chains seem equipped to weather the curfew, smaller businesses are scrambling for help from governments and customers.
This is always the case when it comes to decision-making in South Africa, small enterprises always suffer the most at the cost of an irresponsible state.
The latest infection spike has prompted the usual sanctimonious allegations about the role of the liquor industry in the spread of Covid-19.
However, an examination of the regulatory environment reveals that incoherent policy on the production and sale of alcohol combined with poor, inefficient and corrupt policing have contributed to creating a conflicted relationship between liquor and the wider community…
The prognosis for small operations like shebeens and taverns seem dire. From big places like Sandton to smaller ones like Alex, Ala., restaurants and shebeens have been forced to close their dining rooms; many have simply shuttered, while others are relying on takeout and delivery. This is the price they have to pay for the reckless behavior of the state.
“The curfew is meant to prevent gatherings that go on late into the night while enabling restaurants, bars, and taverns to continue to operate and earn an income,” Ramaphosa said.
While that statement might be true, we also need to consider the fact that most of these businesses only start reeling in some serious cash from 10pm.. so how will they survive?
Main Image: Council on foreigh relations