Premier Alan Winde is certain that the Western Cape has passed its second wave peak of COVID-19 cases. Therefore, he has written to the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize requesting that the alcohol and beach bans be lifted, as well as the curfew be relaxed in the province.
On 28 December, strict level 3 regulations were introduced by the government in response to the sharp rise in COVID-19 infections across South Africa.
The restrictions banned alcohol sales, closed beaches and brought the curfew forward to 9 pm, forcing many establishments to close at 8 pm.
Premier Winde says he has requested the following changes to restrictions in the Western Cape:
- For the ban on beaches and other public spaces to be lifted.
- For the curfew to be changed to 11 pm to 4 am.
- A new closing time of 10 pm for establishments.
- For retail outlets and traders to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday only.
- For alcohol sales to be permitted at wine farms on weekends.
- For onsite alcohol consumption to be allowed at restaurants and bars.
In a statement, Winde says the first two weeks of the latest alcohol ban is estimated to have cost the Western Cape economy R1 billion, impacting hundreds of jobs.
He also claims that the continued beach ban is costing the tourism sector millions by deterring potential visitors.
Winde does believe that certain restrictions need to stay in place, such as limited gatherings.