SA lockdown: Concerns in Gauteng about the unbanning of alcohol


    JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng government insists all its metros will move to Level 3 of the lockdown next week.

    That’s despite the three big metros being flagged as COVID-19 hotspots.

    The province has over 3,000 cases — the second-highest in the country — after the Western Cape.

    But it’s the unbanning of alcohol sales that’s causing concern.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced that the limited sale of alcohol would be allowed under Level 3 conditions.

    The sale of alcohol will be restricted to home consumption as well as other control measures that will be announced in the course of the week, according to Ramaphosa.

    “We are now worried because people will be allowed to have a bit of alcohol, it means another burden to our facilities,” said Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku.”We are hoping that going forward the restriction and the sale of alcohol will still be highly regulated.”

    Masuku said all metros in the province will move to Level 3 at the same time.We’re not going to have a different metro moving to a different level and others going to another.

    “Were an integrated province — the economy is integrated and our transport system is integrated,” Masuku said.With close to 200 new cases reported at mines, there are concerns that the West Rand is also becoming a hotspot.

    “We have a sharp increase of the numbers because of the West Rand mining infections that we have seen there.

    “Mines are part of the hotspots that we have to deal with,” he said.

    Officials say a ward-based approach will be put in place to enforce lockdown regulations.

    They are, however, not ruling out the possibility of returning to higher levels if necessary.

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