Why does South Africa keep banning alcohol?


South Africans have faced three alcohol bans since the Covid-19 pandemic hit last March. The government says as it battles a surge in Covid-19 cases a ban on alcohol is necessary to alleviate the pressure on its healthcare system. The last ban was imposed on 28 December. But the South African government is now facing mounting legal challenges to the ban.

The liquor industry argues that legal action is needed to protect its employees, suppliers, and customers. It says the damage to the South African economy is disproportional and unlawful and takes away the right of the public to responsibly consume a drink in the safety of their homes. It says unless the ban is lifted millions of jobs could go.
So, is the government taking the right path to fight the pandemic? That’s what we’ve been looking at in today’s episode of Africa Daily. “This place is definitely not what it used to be,” said Eben Uys, gently wiping the dust from the counter of his bar.

Like more than 200 South African microbrewery and restaurant owners, Uys is fighting to keep his business afloat after a new ban on alcohol sales to combat the soaring numbers of coronavirus cases.

But like some others he has managed to adapt to survive. The 36-year-old chemistry graduate runs trendy bar and restaurant Mad Giant Brewery in the smart district of Newtown, in the heart of South Africa’s economic capital of Johannesburg.—AFP

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