President Ramaphosa's 'immediate effect' alcohol ban puts SA Twitter in a spin
Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that the sale of alcohol would be banned again, but this time with "immediate effect", had SA Twitter in a spin.
Ramaphosa said Cabinet had decided to ban the sale of alcohol with "immediate effect", and instituted a curfew from 9pm to 4am, which will begin on Monday, July 13. He said only those who would be working during that time would be allowed out of their homes.
He explained the pressure on the country’s healthcare system was too high and these extreme measures were needed to ensure the country’s hospitals dealt only with coronavirus cases and not alcohol-related trauma incidents.
Phumzile van Damme, a DA MP and the official opposition's spokesperson on communication policy, took issue with the president's use of "immediate effect".
"There is no 'immediate effect' unless there are regulations that make it 'immediate effect'. The president does not rule by diktat (sic). This is a democracy guided by the rule of law. Until the regulations are published, there is no ban. This matters.
"On principle (a concept I know will be lost to some here) – I hope retailers will take a stand. Government does not get to go on TV, make announcements and it is so. It really does not work like that. Draft the regulations, publish them. Then, and only then, is it 'law'."
ON PRINCIPLE (a concept I know will be lost to some here) - I hope retailers will take a stand. Government does not get to go on TV, make announcements and it is so. It really does not work like that. Draft the regulations, publish them. Then, and only then, is it "law."— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) July 12, 2020
It's about the principle, the President cannot simply announce: "immediate effect." He should have said: "regulations banning the sale of alcohol will be published x" Not that he is making an announcement now, and therefore as he makes it is in effect. https://t.co/YTB8mLirfC— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) July 12, 2020
You have no idea what it is you're going about. If you did, you wouldn't have applied for NYDA. There've been so many decisions announced without regulations. It does not work like that. Regulations first. Ramaphosa hasn't just taken over the country by coup & can make laws on TV https://t.co/roecBKjoXj— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) July 12, 2020
Professor Pierre de Vos, a constitutional law expert at the University of Cape Town, also weighed in on Twitter: "Prohibition on sale of alcohol can only take effect with promulgation of regulations. So regulations must be promulgated tonight to take immediate effect."
However, roughly an hour or so after Ramaphosa's address, the regulations were gazetted by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. She, along with ministers on the National Coronavirus Command Council will have a briefing at 11am on Monday on the amended regulations.
On social media, others used the opportunity to weigh in on the immediate ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol.
My issue here with the immediate effect thing as a previous retailer, now the stock that we ordered for the week ? How will we pay for that? Our employees on the liquor side their salaries for the month ? I rate they should’ve given a notice of some sorts at least to the industry— Thiago (@juniormlondy1) July 12, 2020
The ban was foreseen, but that "immediate effect" hits different 💔 #immediateeffect— LadyHe (@LadyHe) July 12, 2020
I just woke up and apparently #cyrilramaphosa just bashed alcohol ban things again? With immediate effect? LoL, so we can’t even go stock tomorrow morning? 😭— Lightskin Tupac 🔞💯 (@infinite67_) July 12, 2020
How do you close down an entire industry in an ailing economy "with immediate effect"; no notice? What happens to employees in the value chain? What do those business owners do about debts, pending orders, etc? You don't do tht unless cocksure of "winning" in court no matter what— 13 February 2020 (@vngalwana) July 12, 2020
One day you are preparing for work for the next day then boom 💥 With immediate effect 😞— Tebxa Ngwana ™️ (@picat87) July 12, 2020