President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that alcohol would be banned again, but this time with 'immediate effect' had SA twitter in a spin. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that alcohol would be banned again, but this time with 'immediate effect' had SA twitter in a spin. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

President Ramaphosa's 'immediate effect' alcohol ban puts SA Twitter in a spin

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Jul 13, 2020

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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'."

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.

Cape Argus

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