Cigarette and alcohol consumption are banned under COVID-19 regulations. Recently a protest got arranged by those against the ban. Angrily, they took to the streets to object to the ongoing Cigarette ban in South Africa. Actually, many concerned citizens feel the government ignores human rights and basic economic principles.
Cigarette ban and alcohol ban
Currently, cigarette sales in South Africa remain illegal. Hundreds of bikers and car drivers gathered in Benoni on July 8th. There, they protested against the continuing ban on cigarettes. Ultimately, the protestor Linda Barnard says the ban causes job losses in the industry. Additionally, it endangers smokers who now buy high-nicotine poorly-made illegal cigarettes.
According to Business Live, retailers and tobacco companies approached the president claiming losses in excess of R3.5 Billion in taxes alone. Sadly, in a country that fought for freedom from the paternalism common under Apartheid, the ANC does just that. In fact, the party appears to be recklessly steering off an economic cliff, some people believe.
Furthermore, people quickly arranged further protests.
— Gavin (@GavinThomasset) July 13, 2020
Alcohol sales banned with immediate effect
Additionally, the government reintroduced the alcohol ban. Actually, the timing of the announcement precluded stocking up. Obviously, both producers and buyers feel very angry. In fact, others interpret it as a direct attack on the wine industry in the Democratic Alliance-run Western Cape. Meanwhile, employees essentially got told they lost their jobs via the television.
The alcohol ban is a direct attack on the Western Cape. Our wine farms will be destroyed. This is a direct assault on the success of the DA Provincial government.
— Rod MacPhail (@rodcampsbay) July 12, 2020
Unexpected, the re-banning of alcohol dropped onto the population late on Sunday evening, leaving no time for people to stock up. Immediately, Twitter exploded with comments ranging from despair to humour. People, once again, fume at both the cigarette and alcohol bans.
— JnzBeats™ (@JnzBeats) July 12, 2020
Beer sales alone cost SARS over R500 million
According to an article in IOL Business, on May 8th, under the previous alcohol ban, SA Breweries estimated a loss of over R500 million. Incredibly, that loss came just from tax revenues on unpackaged beer. Notably, wine sales estimated losses came in at an excess of R175million per week under the first ban.
Undoubtedly, the South African economy is in trouble. To quote Vusi Thembekwayo, a young impressive black entrepreneur, “COVID-19 is the coffin that will bury the [struggling} economy.”
What do you think about the cigarette and alcohol bans? Have your say in the comments below.
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