Limpopo liquor traders are discussing refusing to sell alcohol to unvaccinated customers.
LIMPOPO Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba’s plan to have liquor traders refusing to sell alcohol to unvaccinated customers is causing a stir on social media.
On Monday, Ramathuba told a news outlet that a dialogue about refusing to sell alcohol to unvaccinated customers had begun with liquor traders in the province.
“As a department, we can’t just fold our arms and keep on complaining about vaccine hesitancy when we know that we can engage the liquor industry, a sector which is hard hit every time we have a wave.
“We are saying: ’Here’s an opportunity for us to avert the fourth wave and this can be through vaccinations.’ It’s up to the industry whether they accept our proposal or not,” Ramathuba said.
It is estimated that the alcohol industry has lost R36.3 billion in retail sales revenues in the on-again-off-again liquor bans between 2020, when the lockdown began, and when the latest one ended this month, according to a report.
It is also estimated that the loss of sales has put more than 200 000 jobs at risk across the formal and informal sectors.
While Ramathuba reiterated that there was no national legislation that forced people to vaccinate, hundreds of social media users flooded the timeline to share their thoughts.
A Twitter user, identified as Nosipho Khulu, said: “Unwittingly this #NoVaccine no alcohol stunt will cause the natives to sober up cannot wait been waiting for this since 1994.”
“Since they are forcing the vaccine onto people, I really think the #NoVaccine #NoVote thing would work,” said another social media user.
Meanwhile, legal expert Nthabiseng Dubazane said liquor institutions were viewed as juristic persons, which means that it was recognised as having legal personality and the right to allow whomever they wanted into their spaces.