Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina has called on liquor traders to adhere to Covid-19 regulations to help prevent a “second wave” in South Africa.
TWO LIQUOR outlets in the Northern Cape were ordered to close due to non-compliance during the launch of the national anti-alcohol and substance abuse campaign in Springbok on Monday.
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina, was accompanied by the Northern Cape MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mase Manopole, when inspections were conducted at liquor outlets in the Springbok area by inspectors from the Northern Cape Liquor Board.
Three out of the five liquor outlets that were visited did not comply with their liquor licence conditions, where two of the outlets were ordered to close.
Gina, who is also the champion of the district development model for the Namakwa District Municipality, stated that everything possible had to be done to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 from becoming a reality in South Africa.
She urged liquor traders to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations in order to prevent a possible second wave of the pandemic and raised awareness regarding the adverse effects of alcohol and substance abuse, particularly during the festive season.
“No province or district can claim to be immune from the escalation of the virus. Alcohol selling places such as clubs, pubs and shebeens have been cited as the new superspreaders of the virus, followed by funerals and after-tears parties. We are making a national call to liquor trading places that they must adhere to Covid-19 regulations. They must make sure that they provide sanitisers at points of entry for all patrons and ensure the wearing of masks and social distancing. Owners of these liquor joints must obey the evening curfew and must not undermine the closing time,” said Gina.
She appealed to liquor traders to assist in minimising infections and deaths.
“Liquor traders that fail to comply with the country’s Covid-19 regulations will have their liquor licences withdrawn by government,” she warned.
Gina also called on all South Africans to refrain from “glorifying” alcohol.
“While alcohol is one of the main contributors to the economy, society in general and government in particular need to deal with the impact of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse has negative effects on families – especially the breadwinners and the youth within the families – and communities in general.
“These negative effects also affect the economy through a drop in productivity. A winning nation with the prospects of a rising economy cannot achieve maximum progress with a society that has high levels of alcohol abuse. We are a drinking nation and therefore have an alcohol problem as a country. South Africa ranks amongst the leading countries in the world for heavy drinking levels.”
Gina also pointed out that South Africa experienced high rates of fatal accidents during the festive season.
“Alcohol is a common denominator in many of the accidents, as well as in many violent incidents throughout the country. It is against this background that the department is undertaking a campaign to create awareness amongst members of society to drink responsibly.”