SA Government posted to their Twitter account on July 22, that the alcohol and cigarette ban remains in place “throughout the lockdown period.” We reported that those who work in the industry felt heartbroken and desperate. After all, we noted, the end of the lockdown could take many months to arrive yet. However, the Twitter page now backtracked on their earlier announcement that sent temperatures and rage souring.
SA Government tweet – a devastating blow to millions of people reliant on the industries for food
Reactions to the news that the bans remain until the end of the lockdown ranged from despair to fury. But, finally, people now know that someone reads those tweets and replies in the government. They retracted the statement following the barrage of complaints. In fact, some people even reported them to Twitter for harassment of those in poverty.
Devastated smokers, drinkers, and those in employment in the industry professed their sheer horror and dismay at the looming poverty for millions. Thousands of angry tweets went the way of South Africa’s leadership. Many people actually called for the Taxi Association to stand up and demonstrate as they seem to win every time they protest against draconian measures.
Government backtracks on earlier statement about the alcohol and cigarette bans
The Government on Twitter took to social media amidst the howls of outrage and claimed the original statement was made in error. Their new tweet read, “This account posted a tweet earlier today which said that the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes would remain in place throughout the lockdown period. This is incorrect. The sale of alcohol and tobacco products is prohibited under the current Level 3 regulations.”
Nevertheless, they didn’t commit to that time period. A follow-up tweet said, “2/2: This decision may be reviewed at any time by the relevant structures should the conditions which necessitated it change. We regret any confusion the tweet has caused.”
This account posted a tweet earlier today which said that the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes would remain in place throughout the lockdown period. This is incorrect. The sale of alcohol and tobacco products is prohibited under the current Level 3 regulations.
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) July 22, 2020
While the news may come as a comfort to some people, the unprofessional attitude and the fact their important posts simply come via a tweet, without fact-checking riles up an already furious nation.
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Remember to check back with SAns Newsfeed often for more news about South Africa’s alcohol and cigarette bans.