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Alcohol sales remain banned and most beaches closed

As SA’s Covid-19 second wave surge continues.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night that Level 3 restrictions will be extended to counter the second wave surge in Covid-19 infections in the country. Image: GCIS

The blanket ban on the sale of alcohol will continue, while beaches in Covid-19 hot spots will also remain closed as current pandemic-related restrictions in South Africa have been extended.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night that Level 3 restrictions will be extended to try to counter the second wave surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.

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It is unclear whether the ban will be until the end of the month or continue until mid-February, in-line with new land border closures he also announced, which will be in place until 15 February. Updated regulations around Alert Level 3 are expected to be published this week.

South Africa has been reporting an average of around 20 000 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus daily since last Wednesday, putting a huge strain on the healthcare system amid a shortage of hospital beds.

Read: Patients treated in parking lot as Covid-19 overwhelms SA hospital

Ramaphosa said more than 190 000 new Covid-19 infections have been reported since the start of the new year, describing the current situation as a “grave, persistent and deepening pandemic”.

“The pandemic in our country is now at its most devastating. The number of new infections, hospital admissions and deaths [are] higher now than it has ever been since the first case was recorded in our country in March 2020.”

“As a proportion of the population, the province with the highest average number of cases over the last seven days is KwaZulu-Natal, followed by the Western Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga,” he added.

Ramaphosa noted that the number of new infections in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape has grown fast and now far exceed the peak during the first wave.

“Infections in Gauteng are growing exponentially and are expected to increase further as more residents of Gauteng return to the province following the festive break …. However, we are encouraged that the rate of new infections in the Eastern Cape, while still high, is lower now than [it was] in the middle of December,” he said.

“In several parts of the country, hospital admissions are also much higher now than during the first wave. There are currently over 15 000 people with Covid-19 in hospitals nationally, placing a considerable strain on health facilities, personnel and equipment,” he added.

Ramaphosa pointed out that the massive increase in infections is largely driven by a new variant of the coronavirus known as 501.V2, which was first identified in South Africa in November.

“We do know that this new variant of the virus spreads much faster than the earlier variants. This explains the fact that many more people have become infected in a far shorter space of time,” he said.

“Emerging information suggests that this new variant does not cause more severe illness than the original variants. But it does put more pressure on the health system because the cases increase so rapidly and the hospitals get full more quickly,” he added.

The president maintained that it was important for the alcohol ban to remain in place in order “to protect the country’s health services at this crucial time”.

The ban had seen a notable reduction in trauma cases at the country’s hospitals during the festive season, which reduced the pressure on healthcare workers already under strain due to the pandemic.

“Health services in several parts of the country reported that the prohibition of alcohol sales had significantly reduced the number of trauma cases seen in our hospitals especially over the New Year period,” said Ramaphosa.

Based on the recommendations of the National Coronavirus Command Council, he said that Cabinet has decided to maintain the country on adjusted Alert Level 3.

“Most of the measures that were announced on December 28, 2020 will therefore remain in place,” he added.

This means that the sale of alcohol from retail outlets and the on-site consumption of alcohol is still not be permitted. Beer giant SA Breweries, which is controlled by global brewing conglomerate AB InBev, is already taking government to court over the ban, while the restaurant industry is also likely to be unhappy about the extended restrictions.

Read: AB InBev to challenge alcohol ban in court

All beaches, dams, lakes, rivers, public parks and public swimming pools in hotspot areas will be closed to the public.

“Given the risk of widespread transmission, most indoor and outdoor gatherings will not be permitted. This includes social gatherings, religious gatherings, political events, traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds,” said Ramaphosa.

“As before, this does not include funerals and other limited exceptions as detailed in the regulations, such as restaurants, museums and gyms,” he noted.

However, he reiterated that funerals may not be attended by more than 50 people, and that social distancing, hand sanitising and mask wearing need to be adhered to.

South Africa’s curfew will now start at 9pm and end earlier, at 5am. It remains compulsory for every person to wear a mask in a public space.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa also announced that in order to reduce congestion and the high risk of transmission at the country’s land borders, Cabinet has decided that the 20 land ports of entry that are currently open will be closed until February 15 for general entry and departure.

These include the six busiest border posts – Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek, Ficksburg and Kopfontein.

People will be however still be allowed to enter or depart the country for:

– the transportation of fuel, cargo and goods,

– emergency medical attention for a life-threatening condition,

– the return of South African nationals, permanent residents or persons with other valid visas,

– diplomats,

– the departure of foreign nationals,

– daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend school in South Africa.

Ramaphosa said the full list of exemptions will be contained in the updated Level 3 regulations.

“It is necessary that we keep the Alert Level 3 measures in place until we have passed the peak of new infections and we are certain that the rate of transmission has fallen enough to allow us to safely ease the current restrictions,” he said.

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The beach ban is so stupid it would be laughable if it was not for the stupidity of the people involved in actually implementing and policing this.
I have never seen a beach with the population density per square meter of a Putco bus, taxi, train from Soweto or Post Office queue but that is acceptable ne!!

Agree! And don’t forget the malls..

Whilst the beaches were closed during the festive season, people congested in their droves in shops and restaurants whilst beaches offered wide open spaces, making social distancing far easier

You should see the queues at the traffic department, or as I call them, the super spreader soirees…

I pay my post box every year via virtualpostoffice. This year you get a message the site is not working and you must visit your nearest branch. Go figure. This government is hellbent on exposing us to the virus, while protesting otherwise.

The malls are like super Nazi gas chambers. Some one sneezes in Woolies, the aircon picks it up and you catch it in Checkers.

I think it has been established that some of the restrictions are purely to flex powerful muscles and have no rational explanation. If Cyril opted to work WITH the people, and not have severe and damaging restrictions, many more would (I hope) co-operated – but his draconian challenger Thug in Charge with Ill-fitting Tophat brings out the worst in people – me too!!

The beach closure was intended to keep people off the beaches on the 1st January, a valid super spreader event. The government had to make it look as if they weren’t singling out this 1 event. This is my theory at least.

Rather concentrate on the taxi ranks and taxis.

and ask peoples not to spit and urinate in public…..

it the small things that will make the difference?

Lets have another job imbizo, investment summit and a war room that will deal with the high unemployment, crime, food shortage, over indebtedness depression which every citizen of the country faces.

Republic of Southern Anxiety.

History will repeat itself, whereby the strongest will not survive but rather those who are the quickest to adapt to the changing environment will be the winners.

I have managed to get my retired folks to urban farm their yard whilst they are off the grid with solar panels and gas.

Lockdown became even more irrational and unnecessary after the emergence of many scientific studies that prove the efficacy of ivermectin. According to some studies, prophylactic use of ivermectin provides even better results than what we could hope for with a vaccine. https://covid19criticalcare.com/

The evidence is overwhelming. 3.7 billion doses have been administered to humans. The product is safe. The product is readily available and cheap.

Ivermectin has the power to make lockdown disappear.

Bear in mind, if Government cannot source control and distribute it, it’s not suitable (according to them)

Once again, they should leave medicine to the private sector to control and rather concern themselves with other issues ..LIKE CORRUPTION, Education and a better Police Force

This entire vaccine procurement process from Government is a precursor of the mess we heading for when the NHI is introduced

How can they expect to tackle a disease of this magnitude when they cannot even Govern properly?

And we sit like idiots in front of a TV, being sold garbage by the very organisation that has all but destroyed the power house of Africa

And therefore the cadres have banned the sale of the product in South Africa. The very, very, very last thing the regime wants, is for the country to be free of the virus.

Sensei belated compliments of the season to you as well.

I have been following Ivermectin and agree, i believe the biggest problem here will be the acceptance/ authorisation of same for treatment. I saw an article over the wkend where a Kwazulu Natal hospital i think was charged with dispensing this – am not sure, but this will be a barrier.

It seems that globally there is a large push back by what one can only assume is big pharma – on any natural or long standing proven remedies/ immune system boosters – as the patents have long run out and they cannot charge obscene money for producing them.

It is not a widely known fact but is becoming more understood – that in the UK the frontline BAME NHS workers are given 25,000-50,000iu+ of vitamin D3 per week. This occurred after last April whereby 25 odd deaths in otherwise relatively healthy doctors occurred – 24 were BAME – it was rapidly discovered by early May, that the naturally heavier pigmentation in their skins resulted in severe D3 deficiency.

Now as a matter of course and has been happening for 8 months – all frontline workers (especially BAME) get an immune booster pack of very high dose D3+Zinc. Strange it only really started making it into the media in drib and drabs after the vaccines were released. This was also done throughout Europe and the USA.

A proactive movement like this by our government would do wonders and is dirt cheap. There are a dozen companies that can mass produce immune booster packs of D3/Zinc something you can hardly overdose on and add in Ivermectin – hospital admissions would plummet.

We are now trying to obtain extremely expensive vaccines which require almost unachievable supply chain distribution temperatures (if Pfizer etc) and then can spoil let alone administer them in vastly remote areas.

Solutions of effective economic suppression are right in front of us.

Romulus, compliments of the season. You mention Vit.D. This is why the incidence of covid deaths is lower than anticipated in townships. The people are exposed to the sun to make Vit.D.

A clean diet, moderate exercise, a little time in the sun, Vit. C, zink, magnesium and 2ml ivermectin rubbed on the skin should do the trick.

Stay healthy my friend!

Very good points, Sensei & Romulus. What you both say, I note, is also backed up be medical journals √

BAME is not applicable to Africa. Black Americans are hard to find in Africa, = minorities but few if any are pure ethnic. In Africa the minorities are typically of foreign descent.

I agree “Ivermectin has the power to make lockdown disappear.”

I dunno how true it this story; where NASA spent billions on a pen to write in space; whereas the Russians used a pencil.

The major pharmaceuticals have a lot to loose if Ivermectin is dispensed.

Well, I am part of the study then. I used 2ml injectable ivermectin as a topical application. I rubbed the oily substance on my arms and lower legs and it was fully absorbed within 30 minutes. I felt a slight burning sensation on the site of application for about an hour. That is it.

Most of the people who comment on moneyweb or even the executives at SAB/AB-InBev have never had the luxury/discomfort to spend a day in the squatter camps and see what people turn into when drunk. From the violance amongst each other to violance towards whoever they support.

I have a cousin who recently stabbed someone and paid them off to keep them from pressing charges. Where did this happen? At a tavern in his neighbourhood. I tried to ask him what needs to be done to help him stop or reduce drinking without a reason and we couldn’t come to a solution.

Bans like these are a joy to his family. And it seems like they are a joy to the hospital staff who had to treat his victim.

SAB/AB-InBev have a case against maybe the government’s UIF or maybe their insurance. But they don’t have valid reasons to warrant the continued sale of alcohol during this pandemic.

All this coming from a vodka fan who is able to able to control himself and drink once a month on payday with colleagues and friends.

Thats Africa for you..Lets blame poverty and a sub standard corrupt Government who have stolen no less than an entire GDP every half decade or so!

Imagine if that money went into uplifting the very people you are referring to then they to could be sipping Vodka in a leather armchair

So because the likes of your cousin cannot behave, everybody must suffer.

So because some retards cannot handle their liquor I cannot have a beer at my braai !!
Idiotic reasoning and tackling the symptoms not the causes!!!

The reasons you are using don’t relate to the pandemic, if there was no pandemic your cousin would be the same person. America tried abolition, that didn’t work, try fixing your cousin instead of trying to dictate everyone else’s lifestyle.

Let’s discuss this phenomenon of violent behaviour. South Africa has 40 violent deaths per capita annually, the same as covid deaths per capita. We have 90 rape cases per capita annually. More than 80% of these cases of violence happens within townships and within the family structure. Alcohol and drug abuse contribute to the incidence of violence. These are facts.

Violence results from feelings of powerlessness due to poverty. Young men feel impotent, powerless, useless and ashamed because they are unemployed, without hope to find employment. They combine substance abuse with their natural testosterone to empower themselves to act violently. The sophisticated part of society does not revert to violence because they have the ability to express themselves verbally. They do not have to fight to express their feelings. Sophisticated people empower themselves with education, employment, membership of civil organisations, faith communities, reading, art and sports.

The shortsighted collectivist policies of the ANC create the economic environment that dumps people in poverty. ANC policies drive violent and destructive behaviour patterns. Only employment opportunities can break the cycle of violence. That implies that only growing economic activity can end violence. We destroy economic activity and jobs when we control or ban the sale of products.

Therefore, in most cases, the alcohol ban and lockdown measures will accelerate economic deprivation, increase unemployment, and therefore increase violent behaviour over the long term.

ANC economic policies should be banned because it is the biggest cause of desperation and violent behaviour.

Sensei — great comment — A lot of the violence and theft in the townships are more drug related.

The use of dagga and Tik are pervasive and that also fuels the theft crime wave that is getting worse by the day.

Not that this government will do anything to upset their voters like putting them in jail.

Per capita? = per person.

Ok well then slavery must be ok in your context. Because people can not control themselves we need a master to stop us from our self destruction and production. This level of thinking is proof that the ordinary man is willfully giving up his sovereign individual power to be controlled.

If the war on drugs has given us any lessons it would be that the more the government control things the more out of control things become. Controls create price inflation through the higher demand of a scarcity, new entrepreneurs enter the market ready to mitigate the risks in pursuit of the reward.

The industrial produces have invested valuable resources in setting up their operation, paying the compliance and regulation price whilst ensuring that their products are of the highest quality that will not harm their brand.

Banning of these companies will allow new entrepreneurs to produce a product which in all likelihood has not complied with any regulation and therefore even more harmful to the general public and ultimately causing more deaths.

SAB/AB-Inbev quoted the number 165,000 jobs already lost in alcohol industry. Try pointing that out to your cousin next time.
The issue at hand here isn’t alcohol it’s being responsible for one’s own decisions & consequences there-of.

GOt to weight the costs and benefits.

Economy matters!

There will always be some substance out there that people get addicted to.

People have to control themselves!

By the way, given that the crime was a stabbing, you’re of course also going to be consistent and call for the banning of knives and knife manufacturing too?

Nothing to do with liquor.its the person who cant handle it

Your cousin is lacking discipline. He needs to pull himself together.

Where is his upbringing? Very disappointing.

Dear MR President, Please stop listening to people with their own agenda. Perhaps the safest place in this pandemic is on the beach. It is outdoors and almost always has a breeze blowing to disperse all these germs. How often have you seen someone catch a cold on the beach? What you have to be careful of Mr. President is your credibility, enforcing this idiotic rule makes one wonder what else that you are doing is idiotic?

Virtually everything he does can be described as such !!!

Yet another speech – but I fail to see any changes from the one given a week ago?

The curfew was shortened by an hour under pressure from the taxi industry, noted. You have also ‘closed’ 20 land borders but have you really? The 6 exemptions, pretty much ensure that the level of legal traffic passing in both directions will remain almost completely unchanged. The illegal movement which was a huge problem at all land borders long before covid 19 arrived – that will also not change very much, other than the ‘toll fee’ charged by the officers controlling those land borders, will have just increased by 100%-200%.

Again, you re-iterated that beaches remain closed and alcohol is still banned. I will never understand how a beach in a hot spot is a potential mass spreader of the virus…

As for alcohol from what i understand – those that drink to the point of needing medical attention, will do so anyway. I am not aware of anyone that went short of alcohol or cigarettes other than a day or 2 in the original bans and since those bans the levels of alcohol stock being transported (look over any general logistics records/ compare with pre-lockdown and it is very easy to see) to the large storage depots/ shebeens/ re-distribution centres etc has increased dramatically – in other words everyone knew an alcohol ban again was highly likely and stock levels being held in these various locations were anywhere between 250 – 700%+ higher than they would usually have been before the very well telegraphed alcohol ban was announced. Another piece of anecdotal evidence look at black market prices now for booze, considerably less than the 1st ban. From a well informed medic – on the night injuries at emergency are down, more on site treatment is occurring where injuries happened, but check the 2-5 day periods after benders – the numbers arriving sober but with festering/ infected wounds and associated problems needing anti-biotic drips etc has increased dramatically – so we have dropped on the night arrival and pushed it out by a few days… so then if this is true does it really help, other than badly hurt your giant employers such as SAB…

I understand the urgent need to be seen to be doing something (I blame the general MSM obsession with death+case stats on every headline) – hence the barrage of speeches recently. You as the president have largely tried to adopt the same measures globally by 1st world countries (they had the means to attempt it, you unfortunately did not), which have also proved to be futile. Even Angela Merkel has announced that track&trace in Germany is a failure – why – because the virus is endemic and they no longer can work out where 75%+ of the actual cases have originated. This is an airborne virus, it moves with the wind.

What does lockdown achieve? Airborne viruses have been with us for hundreds of years and that will not change. For what it is worth i believe you have done a far better job than Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, who change their minds and guidance almost daily. However, the UK and RSA have the same problems, with RSA`s magnified, by very limited finances and an extremely poor economy (precovid) – the existing poverty, mass unemployment, the reality of townships and taxis in RSA only serve to increase twentyfold any problem experienced in the 1st world. Lockdown and curfew FORCE daily NECESSARY human activities into limited spaces and into a limited time frame – the net result ALWAYS – will be far more more people at any one time, in any one space. Are you then not through lockdown, taking those very hotspots you refer to and magnifying their impact and effect? This is true of anywhere else on earth. Viruses come and go as will covid. This stop/ start is killing what is left of the RSA economy. The wave of poverty and resulting food insecurity (unrest+crime) that will accompany that in the years to follow covid will be devastating.

There is an excellent article on this same page by Mamokgethi Molopyane. I strongly suggest that if you have not – you read it twice. RSA needs a serious plan and exit strategy, from the never ending cycle of knee jerk lockdown reactions to headlines, something that is currently non-existent.

https://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-opinion/columnists/mr-president-your-covid-strategy-is-not-working/

Taxi mafia government

Where are the extra beds that were supposed to be rolled out during the first lockdown? We’ve been in a ‘state of emergency’ for 10 months now and what has the State done with this time? Where are the field hospitals? Why are people being treated in the parking lots of hospitals?

All they seem to know how to do is impose arbitrary lockdowns and ‘bans’, preventing significant parts of the population from earning a living by driving companies large and small into the ground — with seemingly very little effect on the numbers of people getting ill.

A problem everywhere – you would think in a deadly pandemic that authorities the world over would have focused on the obvious short falls. But alas they have not.

UK yesterday had 7,000 less beds available than they did at the April 2020 peak – hard to believe and their 30,000 bed nightingale emergency hospitals built for £250m – 3 have been dismantled. 1 is acting as a storage unit and the other 2 are on standby (unable to operate due insufficient staff) – they had 43,000 vacancies in May 2020 and now they still have over 40,000 – no urgency there.

In 2000 the UK had an NHS bed capacity of 250,000 with a population of 57 million. At the beginning of 2020 they had a bed capacity of 165,000 with a population of 65 million, which has since dropped to 158,000. Astounding but true. Figures are similar for France, Belgium, Italy and Spain etc.

So do we have a crisis in the form of a pandemic. Or a crisis caused by 2 decades of severe under investment and budget cuts in national healthcare systems – That have seen hospital staff chopped by 30%, hospital beds reduced by upto 50% and in the same 2 decades the populations of those countries have increased by 15%+ – the current crisis is hardly surprising.

Lastly the whole of the EU and the UK has a winter crisis going back at least 10 years for this very reason.

My dilemma: I have a six-pack of BERNINI drinks, untouched.

Should I…
(i) Sell at profit on the black market?
(ii) Box-frame it?
(iii) or consume & enjoy it?

Drink dit sommer nou uit

DHL to me in a plain brown wrapper.

@Black Tin & beachcomber

You both made my day!! *lol*

This gavamunt can tel you exactly how many people got Carona on any given day. They can not tel you where 10 Billion Rand has gone ?

These kinds of measures … are surely an indication that
the virus is effective in wiping out the ANC!

Asking the average human being anywhere in the world to obey a sensible edict like not drinking too much, not socialising because you may become infected, sanitise and wear a mask so that you do not spread any infection is asking for the impossible. The human species does not take kindly to well-informed advice because EVERYONE has a self-righteous opinion.

Around 14,000 people are killed annually on SA roads – imagine the severely injured – costing the economy n excess of R164-billion. this is what happens when you have actual legislation and law enforcement. Because EVERYONE thinks they are a better than average driver. Don’t dare suggest with a gentle gesture that the driver who cut in front of you without using the indicator (the little stick thing on the steering column) because he may stalk you for kilometres and either pull a gun on you or smash your windscreen with a baseball bat.

In the UK there were 529 deaths involving Covid and 46,169 cases recorded in the past 24 hours. This is a supposedly First World country with an educated population.

Even sophisticated Sweden has realised that a laissez-faire approach to asking its citizens to “do the right thing” has not worked. https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-swedens-new-covid-lockdown-law-takes-effect/a-56185101

But hey! We all know better, don’t we?

The very first official advisory stated that the virus cannot be stopped and must be allowed to run its course. Just protect the vulnerable and otherwise do nothing.
In Sweden the people were strongly advised about how to delay the progress. They correctly determined that lockdown would be more harmful than useful.
The pre-existing under-staffing of care homes for the aged led to many avoidable deaths. The general population has managed to slow the rate of infection but the nation has failed to adequately protect the vulnerable.
On the plus side they have not created a collapse of their economy and consequential suffering has been largely avoided.
In addition the passage of the virus through the population of Sweden has already achieved herd immunity, no vaccine required. But big pharma has put the squeeze on the truth in order to move the lucrative vaccines that offer no immunity. Their media servants are now highly efficient at punting the rhetoric and controlling the narrative. EU membership requires obedience to the global corporate doctrines.

“But big pharma has put the squeeze on the truth in order to move the lucrative vaccines that offer no immunity.”

Hmmm …. so comforting to know that you are on the inside track of global conspiracies and can keep us au fait with all the awful misinformation.

Current statistics for Sweden: 9667 deaths … but hey! Who needs all those old folks draining the economy with their critical care!

This is the same chops who thinks loadshedding is the solution. 5 years from now we will still be fighting covid and blaming 5g towers.

Kopdoek has defined the beach as anything within 100m of the high water mark. By that definition the entire Waterfront must be evacuated and all those Clifton home owners be arrested.

Does anybody in her department have a brain cell?

For the sake of “social distancing” I believe all beaches should now be opened. (The once-off New Year’s day crowding has gone).

It makes sense that (i) if you allow people visiting the beach (still adhering to protocols), (ii) it means there are LESS people crowded inland at the same moment in time.

What’s the point of making certain real estate off limits within a country, so that the populating has to share the (reduced) remaining square meterage on land area. It defeats the purpose of social distancing and spread everyone out.

Besides, sea water is good for broken skin…
And you get Vitamin D when out in the sun.
Plus some exercise.
Flying a kite has not injured, nor infected me.

But our Govt recons to stroll down the beach is bad for one’s health…

End of comments.

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