South Africa: SA's Ban On Alcohol Will Prove More Damaging Than Alcohol Itself

opinion

It is unfair to punish law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who drink responsibly for the bad behaviour of others. The ban on alcohol sales will have harsh economic and other consequences for the country.

A government's actions must be seen to be reasonable and fair from the point of view of any law-abiding citizen. Any responsible administration has to consider various perspectives and balance the need to minimise the economic damage, minimise the extent to which our constitutional rights are limited, and help to save lives in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The reintroduction of the alcohol ban tests those limits.

Before the pandemic, the alcohol industry in South Africa was a law-abiding, tax-paying industry. Inasmuch as the government has to take different perspectives into account, at the very least the people involved in the alcohol industry deserve to be consulted before any restrictions are put in place.

This is important for the industry at large, but more so when it comes to small business owners operating in the townships and rural areas. The two organisations that are most representative of this group, the Gauteng Liquor Forum and the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa, have already expressed their opposition to the latest ban....

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