Lifting the ban on cigs and booze sales is, essentially, a ...

Ideas

Lifting the ban on cigs and booze sales is, essentially, a no-brainer

If you want to kick-start the economy, that is. Let’s be flexible with industries certain to own a market in this time

Editorial

It feels unreasonable. Our government’s ban on liquor and cigarette sales. Unnecessary. Unfair. Over the top. Some say, why not allow one packet of cigarettes or one bottle of wine or a six-pack of beers per household during the grocery run? Others say, all it has done is trigger a massive black market. Many point to the looting of shops – recently, the police in the Western Cape had to help dozens of bottle store owners move their stock out of fear of looting. (Surely the police’s hands could have been used elsewhere?)

SA’s move to ban the sale of alcohol and cigarettes has made its lockdown one of the most prohibitive in the world, alongside the prohibition on jogging, dog walking and fast-food deliveries.

On Saturday night, health minister Zweli Mkhize again had to defend the decision during an online media briefing, where he continued to sing from the same government hymn sheet. “Covid-19 affects the lung ... we’d really discourage people from smoking.”..

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