Tshepo Mmusi
Klerksdorp, Jouberton Township
Date: 25 August 2020

When the state president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will go to phase 2 of lockdown and open the economy in all sectors that was music to the ears of many including tavern owners. In his address he stressed that taverns are allowed to have customers staying in and enjoying their drinks with caution and following the covid 19 regulations. It is good that people should socialize and enjoy each other’s company and friends can come together again see one another after not seeing one another for months but at what cost?

Alcohol sale provides employment to many locals in our community and it provides for many families, and it is a fact that majority of our business people especially black locals are solely on alcohol sale in a form of bottle stores, taverns and shebeens. Last week when alcohol ban was lifted, on the third day after the unbanning many tavern revellers flocked at Thys Sports Bar overlooking regulations and behaving as if the situation is normal. They overlooked gathering of people up to 50, social distancing and many were not wearing their facemasks.

People do not want to adjust to the new normal, and this is going to lead to dire consequences. Liquor traders have the responsibility to ensure that their customers adhere to the set rules and regulations, and should not chase after making quick bucks and compromising the lives of their customers. It’s true that they lost business in the previous months and that they are trying to recover from the loss of business and income but at what cost?