There is a reintroduction in the ban on alcohol sales in South Africa as a part of an initiative to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the opinion of Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the country, the ban on alcohol will ease the load on the healthcare system. There is a group of people who are completely supporting Ramaphosa’s decision. However, there is quite a large group of people who believe that the President is trying to blame the common people to hide the failure of his government. In the context of the novel coronavirus, South Africa is in the most vulnerable state in entire Africa. The figure record says there are approximately 275,000 cases already in the country.
The number of deaths due to COVID-19 has exceeded 4,000. Moreover, according to the reports of the Government, the estimation of the number of deaths will be around 50,000 by the end of 2020. The Democratic Alliance which is also a major opposition party in South Africa does not support the decision of the President. They believe that the government is using the alcohol ban as a mere excuse. While the actual problem lies in the fact there is a failure of adequate health facilities in the country.
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Oppositions and protests
A leader of another opposition party, Economic Freedom Fighters recently took to Twitter to post an official statement. According to Julius Malema, it was a failure of Ramaphosa to not being able to follow a previous warning of lifting the alcohol ban. The first round of the ban and protests began back in March 2020. Malema adds that the President must also consider shutting down all schools and educational institutions that are keeping open after a closure of several weeks.
The common people are constantly protesting against the decision of Cyril Ramaphosa. The trending hashtag on Twitter is #AlcoholHasFallen. The people are using the same to show their dissatisfaction with the President. Moreover, the second round of alcohol ban was like a trigger point for the common public. It shows the displeasure of the common people towards Ramaphosa. Besides, some of the people in the country have also started discussing how another alcohol ban can affect the economy of the country. Another woman commented on how there are chances of people in the healthcare sector of losing work soon. In her tweet, she mentions how her sister has lost her job the previous night. It was a sad moment because the lady in question had bagged a job after a long wait.
The present situation
According to news, the number of COVID positive people is rising constantly. As a result, the health system, especially the local hospitals are not being able to handle the pressure. A massive chunk of the patients is getting affected due to alcohol consumption and trauma cases. Therefore, the hospitals and healthcare centers are running out of beds to accommodate newer patients. A representative of Ramaphosa confirms that almost 40% of the trauma cases are due to alcohol consumption. Well, it is something that the country cannot afford in this situation. On the other hand, a problem is that the ban on alcohol causes several employees in this sector to lose their jobs. Besides, for the government, it is now a state of dilemma. On one side is the matter of people’s lives, and on the other, it is about the preservation of livelihoods.