The sale of hot food, beverages and cigarettes will be prohibited for the duration of the state of restriction because its admission will cause people to flock out of their homes and thus undermine the purpose of the restriction, says Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
She said this in an online session of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on Tuesday afternoon when she addressed MPs, among other things, on the latest developments regarding the restriction.
Dlamini-Zuma also for the first time indicated possible plans to keep Gauteng, the Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal under restriction for longer than the rest of the country because these provinces have the highest number of positive coronavirus viruses cases.
Several MPs peppered her with questions about the particular reason for banning hot food sales.
According to Dlamini-Zuma, takeaway businesses and informal traders were prohibited from selling hot food from day one. For the past week, supermarkets have also been banned from selling it.
“If we allow it, all these stores will sell it. Then we can say goodbye to the restriction. Everyone will then want to go out in the mornings, afternoons and evenings to go and buy pizzas, KFC, and so on. This will undermine the purpose of the restriction to flatten the infection rate. “
According to Dlamini-Zuma, too many people will be infected at the same time and overwhelm the health system.
“That’s why we say it shouldn’t be sold. It will empty houses and totally undermine the restriction. “
She added that alcohol and tobacco products are also not essential items.
“If we allow the sale of cigarettes and alcohol, just like selling hot food, it will also undermine the restriction. People will also leave their homes in large numbers for that. ”
According to her, alcohol causes numerous social problems and incidents of violence that end in hospitals – hospitals that are supposed to be reserved for Covid-19 cases.
“That is why we must avoid what we can. In the bigger picture, it’s a small sacrifice not to be able to buy liquor. ”
Dlamini-Zuma added that even crime has decreased dramatically because of the alcohol ban.
“Places like taverns and other places where people can buy and drink beverages will therefore be closed for a while.”