Ramaphosa will respond on Friday to demands to lift alcohol ban

President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked the Gauteng Liquor Forum to give him until Friday to respond to a letter demanding changes to the lockdown regulations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked the Gauteng Liquor Forum to give him until Friday to respond to a letter demanding changes to the lockdown regulations.
Image: 123RF/kzenon

President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked the Gauteng Liquor Forum to give him until Friday to fully respond to its letter demanding the lifting or changes to regulations banning alcohol sales under lockdown rules in SA.

In a letter addressed to the forum's legal representative Eric Mabuza, the presidency said said it had noted concerns expressed by the forum.

“The National Command Council, the presidency and other relevant parties are meeting again this week, specifically to discuss the details of government’s economic assistance programme. This includes assistance offered to small businesses such as those of your clients, and other measures to mitigate the effects of the lockdown extension,” the state attorney said on behalf of the presidency.

“We anticipate that the results of these discussions may well have a bearing on the issues raised by your client. Therefore, in order to be in a position to respond to your letter fully, we ask that you afford us until close of business on Friday April 17 to respond to your letter.”

The letter made reference to a number of initiatives that the government had put in place to assist small businesses - including a tourism relief fund that members of the forum could benefit from.

In its letter, the forum initially gave Ramaphosa until Tuesday to respond to its demand to lift or amend regulations on the total ban on the sale of alcohol, or it would approach the Constitutional Court.

The forum, representing 20,000 micro- and small businesses in Gauteng, said they operated in pursuance of their financial wellbeing and in the exercise and protection of their legal and constitutional rights.

“More importantly, the lockdown regulations restrict the movements of persons and goods. In particular, regulation 11B(1)(b) provides that all businesses and other entities shall cease operations during lockdown, save for essential services and goods,” the letter read.

The forum said since the declaration of the national state of disaster, its clients’ businesses had been “gravely” affected by the ban on selling alcohol.


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