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No vaccine, No alcohol, says Limpopo MEC

Article by: Dumisane Dube

Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba is holding discussions with liquor traders in the province about refusing to sell alcohol to unvaccinated customers.

On Monday, Ramathuba told a news agency that a dialogue about refusing to sell alcohol to unvaccinated customers had begun with liquor traders in Limpopo.

“It is not compulsory in our country and that includes Limpopo. However, as a health department, we can’t just fold our arms and keep complaining about vaccine hesitancy when we know we can engage the liquor industry,” she said.

According to Ramathuba the liquor industry is one of the segments which is hardest hit when a new wave of Covid-19 cases impacts the country, the banning of alcohol on unvaccinated people can help reduce the strain in hospitals.

“As a department, we can’t just fold our arms and keep on complaining about vaccine hesitancy when we know that we can engage the liquor industry, a sector which is hard hit every time we have a wave. We are saying: ’Here’s an opportunity for us to avert the fourth wave and this can be through vaccinations.’ It’s up to the industry whether they accept our proposal or not,” added Ramathuba.

The ban on alcohol has resulted in an estimated loss of R36.3 billion to the liquor industry since the start of lockdown in 2020.

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