Staff Reporter – The Zimbabwe Daily

Johannesburg, South Africa – A number of liquor traders are crying foul over the suspension of the distribution and sale of alcohol.

This follows Sunday’s announcement by the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who emphasized the need of implementing the suspension so as to avoid burdening the country’s trauma and ICU units.

“This sector employees more than 1 million people and what’s going to happen to their families.

The government never consulted us, the industry has an annual turnover of R130 billion and contributes an annual tax fee of R50 billion, we are not happy with the decision,” said Lucky Ntimane, Convenor of the National Liquor Traders Council of South Africa.

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However, Professor Charles Parry, Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at the Medical Research Council of South Africa said the suspension of the sale and distribution of alcohol was essential considering the fact that the country is about to reach its COVID-19 peak.

“We did some modeling when we were at level 5 and realised that some of the country’s trauma units were receiving between 42 000 and 43 000 alcohol related cases per week and that was before the suspension of the sale of alcohol.

So from level 5 the suspension of alcohol really assisted in decongesting our trauma units, we have also realised that 40 percent of trauma cases are alcohol related,” said Professor Parry.

South Africa is now the 8th country in the world with the highest number of COVID-19 cases which are now nearing the 300 000 mark.