‘We are a sick nation’ - Mbalula slams South Africa for booze antics
Johannesburg – Snaking queues at bottle stores accompanied by singing and brass band performances has convinced Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula that South Africa is a "sick nation".
Speaking after a walkabout at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday, where he had been to inspect the country's readiness for domestic flights, Mbalula said he understood the lockdown had not been easy, but slammed the antics displayed on Monday.
“There is no easy answer for anything,” he said. “Even with the (minibus) taxis it's not easy, taxis are breaking the law and filling up 100%, I have pictures, there is nothing that is easy.”
Mbalula said he was left bewildered when people were interviewed outside liquor stores and they admitted to buying alcohol illegally for as much as R700.
“People say on camera I have been buying alcohol illegally for R700 on TV. The throat was frightened for sometime not drinking. That is our people.
“People want to smoke, drunkards want to get drunk. We open up for drunkards and they abuse it. They go to Tops with a brass band. I've never seen people clap for alcohol. We are a sick nation,” said Mbalula.
He also said the response by the public to denounce President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to reopen churches showed participatory action and he said the ban on the sale of cigarettes was not a “Nkosazana (Dlamini Zuma) problem”.
Mbalula said despite the many "weaknesses", South Africans had complied with the lockdown.
“Our people are still compliant even today,” he said.
“(There are things that) scientists don't even know themselves, that is why you have to comply with the regulations.
“We can't win with political point scoring. It is easy to organise people and protests. Easy victories are easy. But you are misleading people.
“Where the government does wrong, the government must go back (to the drawing board). We are opening up the economy gradually. Even the decisions we have taken on alcohol can be reversed,” he warned.IOL