EFF leader Julius Malema has called for the reinstatement of the ban on the sale and movement of alcohol during level 3 of the nationwide lockdown in order to protect human life over the desire for profit generation.
Malema was earlier delivering his party’s virtual Youth Day Rally and said that the country’s healthcare infrastructure would be overburdened by alcohol related trauma incidents leading to it struggling to fight the deadly coronavirus.
Malema said that the deaths related to Covid-19 were increasing rapidly as the country neared the two-thousand deaths mark while there was yet to be sufficient provision of Personal Protective Equipment and improvement of health infrastructures.
“To make matters worse, the President of the country has allowed the sale of alcohol in a country that has a history of high fatalities and hospitalisation due to alcohol related interpersonal violence.
“This reckless decision places a burden on a health sector that is already overwhelmed and should be directing its energies to fight the spread of Covid-19.
“Nurses and medical staff are now further exposed to catching the virus because they do not have PPEs and are dealing with an increase in trauma unit cases due to alcohol,” Malema said.
He said that the country’s hospitals were now buckling under the pressure of having to attend to both patients coming in due to alcohol related incidents and the coronavirus patients who should be the priority.
Malema said that at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town, the number of people admitted to medical trauma units had spiked since the 1st of June 2020, when alcohol sales resumed, rising from 8 to 20 per day.
“At Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital patients in the trauma, the unit was reported to have doubled in the space of 24-hours after the resumption of the sale of alcohol.
“A majority of the patients seen in these units were there due to alcohol-related incidents, whether it be motor vehicle accidents, domestic abuse or interpersonal violence,” Malema said.
He added that this “painful reality” was a result of the incompetence, spinelessness and cowardice of President Cyril Ramaphosa who had sacrificed the lives of South Africans in the interests of capital.
Malema said that they would hold the government and Ramaphosa personally responsible for the deliberate jeopardising of black lives as “he has now become an ally of the deadly coronavirus” by prioritising his relationship with white-monopoly capital over the lives of South Africans. – IOL