President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening announced that international travel restrictions have been lifted, and the sale of alcohol is no longer limited to weekdays. Those are the most notable aspects coming out of the Presidential address this week.
While the opening of international borders makes sense, doing away with the alcohol sale ban has caused criticism with many confused about Government’s current response plan to COVID-19.
Radio Islam spoke to political analyst, Tasneem Essop to reflect on the address from Ramaphosa.
Essop puts things into perspective as she explains that while the lifting of the ban may not add up, the reason the ban was put in place was to alleviate pressure on hospitals for alcohol related injuries, to allow more beds for COVID-19 patients. The number of in-patients at hospitals has steadily declined and government is confident that the health care system is in a good enough position to re-instate normal hours for alcohol sales.
Essop has however cited a degree of lobbying that would have taken place behind the scenes in easing regulations for interested parties.
Meanwhile, the ruling party continues to take center stage as Ace Magashule, the party’s Secretary-General and a member of top six is set to appear in court on Friday following the Hawks acquiring a warrant of arrest against the politician.
Magashule will not be forced to step down as Secretary-General by the party, who previously took a stance of zero tolerance for members who have been implicated in wrongdoing and formally charged.
As the long legal process takes its course, the ANC’s commitment to anti-corruption will be put to the test. It risks reputational damage by keeping an implicated member on as Secretary-General. According to Essop, how the NEC navigates this process is crucial and results will only show at the polls.
As factions are rife within the ANC, Essop believes the legal process will not necessarily weaken the faction Magashule forms part of and to the contrary, he may come out of it stronger than before.
Time will tell how Magashule’s arrest will affect the ruling party and how they will respond.
By Naadiya Adams