On multiple occasions during the coronavirus crisis, it has been apparent that the ANC’s left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing (and we’re not referring to political loyalties).
So, when a country most needs clear communication, we get mixed messages; rollbacks on official statements; corrections to lockdown regulations. This chicken-without-a-head inanity was on public display again yesterday, when the government’s official Twitter account sent out a message to the world that the bans on the sale and distribution of alcohol and tobacco products will remain until the end of the lockdowns – effectively, indefinitely.
It took more than five hours for someone to realise that the public might not take kindly to being told that the ANC had snuffed out the dim and distant light of hope at the end of the lockdown tunnel. Then, the Twitter account scrambled to say that the statement was “incorrect”.
The bans would remain under current Level 3 restrictions, but that the “decision may be reviewed at any time by the relevant structures should the conditions which necessitated it change”.
Perhaps it is mere coincidence that the original tweet went out as thousands of restaurants and operators in the tourist industry were protesting for restrictions to be eased – including on the consumption of booze at dining places, and the lifting of inter-provincial travel bans to stimulate local tourism.
Again, in the original tweet, the government tried to claim that the “data” showed hospital admissions for alcohol-related trauma rose significantly after booze became available again… but its vague data had no hard numbers attached. The damage done to the economy of continuing the two bans has been immense – and it will get worse.
But that doesn’t suit the ANC narrative, which is that it is drunkards and smokers who are to blame for the Covid-19 death toll.
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