The Gauteng Liquor Forum, which claims to represent 20 000 liquor businesses, is threatening to take President Cyril Ramaphosa to court over the ban of the sale of alcohol during the lockdown.
The Forum said in a statement that government must lift the ban and allow for the sale of alcohol, but with limited operating hours as the ban is crippling their member’s businesses.
“It is exactly the prohibition on the selling of alcohol by our clients during the lockdown period which is at the epicentre of the present challenge by our clients.
“The extension of the lockdown period to 30 April 2020 will most likely ruin their businesses. They do not have other means of surviving while the lockdown continues.” reads the statement.
The forum’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, said Ramaphosa had undertaken to consider and respond to their request by no later than Tuesday and that the president’s response will inform their next course of action.
The lift on the ban of the sale of alcohol has increasingly taken centre stage as the country battles to contain the spread of COVID-19 which has already claimed 25 lives.
The Beer Association of South Africa has also written to Ramaphosa, requesting him to allow online sale of alcohol and taverns to operate as takeaway outlets.
Police Minister Bheki Cele yesterday slammed those who are fixated with the opening of beer halls, saying it was reckless to make such calls in the midst of a crisis.
The EFF has also flatly rejected the idea and called on government to stand firm against lobbies and the alcohol industry.