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Further blow to SA as another ban on alcohol is introduced

Published:  13 July, 2020

South Africa has banned alcohol sales again as part of a set of new restrictions to combat Covid-19. 

In addition, a night-time curfew (from 9pm to 4am) has been imposed, and wearing masks outdoors is now compulsory, with a nationwide state of emergency extended until 15 August.   

The ban on alcohol, the second introduced as a result of the pandemic, would take pressure off the national health care system, said President Cyril Ramaphosa in a public address. 

The country was facing “a grim storm”, he added, as he reintroduced the ban just weeks after another three-month ban was lifted. 

"There are a number of people who have taken to organising parties, who have drinking sprees, and some who walk around crowded spaces without wearing masks,” he said.

The new ban on alcohol sales is the latest blow to the SA wine industry, which has already suffered severely as a result of the government banning exports of wine and spirits at the beginning of April as part of strict lockdown measures. 

The exports ban was lifted at the beginning of May as the country eased its measures. 

Towards the end of April, the South African wine industry voiced how the exports ban had been leading to grave concerns from both exporters and their importers over significant damage to the future of the industry.