The Eastern Cape government has formally requested a lockdown ban on the sale of alcohol be reinstated.
Besides being a threat to the healthcare system’s COVID-19 response, officials cited a surge in violent crime as a reason why the sale of liquor should be prohibited.
The Eastern Cape has the second-highest number of COVID-19 infections with 12.5% of South Africa’s cases.
A report released by the Eastern Cape COVID-19 command council showed that from 1 June to 7 June, 94 murder cases were recorded in the province.
There were also 42 attempted murders, 354 assaults and 77 rapes.
The premier’s spokesperson, Mvusi Sicwetsha, said that reinstating the alcohol ban would help reduce infections as well as protect people’s lives.
“We believe that if we can reintroduce this ban in the province, we can reduce the rate of infection because having this situation where people are breaking these laws, it puts their lives at risk and it makes quite a few people vulnerable to infections.”
Officials said that serious crimes committed last week could be directly or indirectly linked to the abuse of liquor.