South Africans may find out on Friday if restrictions around the sale of alcohol will be relaxed during the lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who asked for time to respond to demands by the Gauteng Liquor Forum, is expected to do so by the end of the day.
The forum, which represents shebeen and tavern owners, is asking to be allowed to operate a limited service.
Government’s COVID-19 national command council has made it clear that the distribution and sale of alcohol is not allowed during the lockdown.
Only the transportation of alcohol-based sanitisers can be carried out and Cooperative Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma reiterated this on Thursday.
“It is not allowed to be exported in the same way that it’s not allowed to be sold.”
In their initial response to the Gauteng Liquor Forum, the State’s lawyers asked why those affected had not sought assistance from the tourism relief fund since they qualified.
Today’s decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa will be closely watched as the alcoholic beverage sector has taken a massive hit in sales, while many South Africans continue to vent their fury over the temporary ban.
For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.