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Police Minister Bheki Cele on alcohol ban: We cannot keep the economy closed

Bheki Cele

Bheki Cele passed up an opportunity to ram home the ills of liquor on Tuesday, and instead, struck a more reserved tone when asked about the future of the alcohol ban. The police minister admitted that he ‘did not know’ if the prohibition on booze should continue – and seemed to be genuinely concerned about the economic ramifications.

The alcohol ban is set to be reviewed on 15 January. The drastic measure was brought in just before New Year’s Eve, and the impact seems to have been instant. Trauma cases in several hospitals plummeted, freeing up vital capacity and staff resources for patients desperately battling against the effects of the coronavirus.

This factor is not lost on Bheki Cele, who branded this achievement as a historic one. But for the time being, the top cop is laying off the booze traders – there’s a first time for everything, we suppose.

Faith Mazibuko and Bheki Cele

Should the alcohol ban continue? I don’t know. We can’t keep the economy closed, but for the police and health services, it’s good. There was history made when hospitals had no trauma cases on New Year’s Eve. It at least tells us that this particular measure does have an impact.

Meanwhile, the ANC veteran also explained that soldiers will be deployed to beaches in the Western Cape, to ensure all COVID-19 protocols are being followed. SANDF will have a presence on the West Coast, and in the Garden Route. The army will be on patrol in Hartenbos, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Knysna, and Plettenberg Bay.

“We are going to be visiting beaches again, starting in Vredendal on the West Coast. Tomorrow we are in the Garden Route. Fortunately, We are sending SANDF members there, we have extra members in the metros to ensure that everybody is complying with the rules.

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Source: thesouth african