Melvin Jonkers, chairperson of the Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF)
The Grassy Park CPF has noted the positive impact on the prohibition of alcohol sales as part of the safety measures declared by the government.
Reports indicate that the emergency units at hospitals experienced a huge drop in cases which can be ascribed to the lack of alcohol abuse especially over weekends.
A consequence of this is that medical staff and space are now available to assist with Covid-19 patients.
The CPF supports the ban on alcohol sales. The easy availability of alcoholic beverages in our poorer communities led to abuse of alcohol to which many people became addicted.
Many social ills can be laid at the door of irresponsible alcohol drinking.
This is a time when sacrifices have to be made by all to save our nation. Being inebriated dumbs the mind, causing bad judgement which often leads to violence and sadly even death.
We have noted the calls to relax the rules on the sales of alcohol and the various reasons given. Loss of revenue, and consequently taxes, is often touted as reason for the call to relax the rules. Others claim that the liquor rules should be relaxed to prevent looting.
Looting is a crime, and law enforcement agencies should take strong action against looters. In these times, it is tantamount to treason.
We realise that police are preoccupied with enforcing the lockdown regulations, but we maintain that this should not be an excuse to neglect their mandate to protect lives and property of the citizens of this country.
We call on the president to maintain the ban on the sale of alcohol for as long as it is necessary to help to flatten the curve. We also call on the relevant law enforcement agencies deployed to ensure that the rules are strictly applied to be firm in their resolve to ensure compliance.
We call on our communities to endure for a while longer. This shall pass.