Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has confirmed that South Africans will not be allowed to transport alcohol under the country’s adjusted level 1 lockdown regulations.
In a media briefing on Thursday (1 April), the minister said that police officer will establish roadblocks throughout the country to enforce the regulations.
“Over the weekend they are not allowed to carry alcohol from one place to the other. Today yes, but as from midnight today (1 April) until midnight on Monday (5 April) they are not allowed.
“You are allowed to sit and drink where you are at, a bar, under strict health protocols.”
She explained that the decision to implement further restrictions on the sale of alcohol is due to the movement of people, which leads to greater gatherings, and the increased transmission of Covid-19.
A gazette published by the minister this week prohibits the sale of alcohol over the weekend for off-site consumption. However, it makes no specific mention of the transportation of alcohol.
The gazette gives effect to the national address given by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday evening (30 March), in which he announced that lockdown regulations will be changed for the festive period.
It states that for the duration of the Easter period, the sale of liquor by licensed premises for off-site consumption is prohibited.
The sale of liquor by a licensed premises for on-site consumption is permitted, subject to strict adherence to the curfew contemplated in regulation.
The consumption of liquor in public places, except in licensed on-site consumption premises, is not permitted.
Any person who fails to comply with these regulations commits an offence and is, on conviction liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
For the purposes of these regulations ‘Easter Period’ means Friday (2 April 2021) from 00h01 until Monday (5 April 2021) at 23h59.
The opposition Democratic Alliance has slammed Dlamini-Zuma for the announcement – calling the regulation ‘ridiculous’.
“This is just another heavy-handed restriction by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) in a long line since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, that criminalises ordinary citizens while true crime flourishes.”
“The truth is that more people have been arrested during the pandemic for breaking irrational regulations than there have been vaccinations in South Africa.
“The South African Police Service (SAPS) have 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.”
It said that the National Coronavirus Command Council should reconsider its focus and repeal this regulation as a matter of urgency.