Transportation of alcohol over Easter weekend no longer illegal after Dlamini Zuma about-turn
Cape Town – Slammed by the DA, among others, for the ’’ridiculous regulation’’ banning of the transportation of alcohol, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has done an about-turn.
"Over the weekend, the police will be doing roadblocks and stuff. (People) are not allowed to be carrying alcohol and stuff from one place to the other," she had said earlier on Thursday morning.
However, on Thursday afternoon, Dlamini Zuma's spokesperson, Mlungisi Mtshali, told Talk Radio 702 that people will be allowed to transport their own alcohol. South Africans have only until midnight, though, before the ban on the off-site consumption of alcohol kicks in for the Easter weekend.
"The short answer is, yes, people can transport their own alcohol, even between provinces. There is no risk that your alcohol will be confiscated."
However, Mtshali said if you buy alcohol from a restaurant, pub, bar or shebeen and take it home, then you could get into trouble, but if you’re taking alcohol from your own house to a social event, you’re safe.
Liquor law expert Danie Cronje had told the John Maytham Show on CapeTalk earlier that Dlamini Zuma’s initial ruling had not been in line with the gazetted regulations.
“As far as I’m concerned, the regulations have been clear, they only mention the transportation of liquor in the heading but there’s no prohibition of the transportation of liquor. So as far as I’m concerned, one may transport liquor."
Cronje said there had been moves to address the confusion.
“Representative organisations in the wine and the liquor industry are trying to resolve this with the minister. I personally sent a message to the premier in the Western Cape advising him and asking him to assist to get the correct message out to law enforcement officials."
National Liquor Traders Council national convener Lucky Ntimane concurred, telling 702 the liquor regulations did not say anything regarding the transportation of alcohol.
Ntimane says he spoke to the police and they said the minister was wrong.
DA trade, industry and competition spokesperson Dean Macpherson said earlier: "The NCCC never seems to have its eye on the prize – South Africa being fully open, and our citizens safely vaccinated against Covid-19.
’’SAPS has often enforced irrational lockdown regulations in a brutal fashion, and the DA is very concerned that this regulation could give rise to police brutality over the long weekend."