he Western Cape government wants the alcohol sales and wine producing sector reopened urgently to prevent a jobs bloodbath.
It believed that although the pandemic was not gone, the peak had passed in the province, and with safety precautions followed, alcohol sales could resume safely.
Earlier Premier Alan Winde announced that as of 13:00 on 7 August, the Western Cape had 8 631 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 97 506 confirmed cases and 85 528 recoveries.
It recorded another 34 deaths, bringing the total to 3 347 people.
“We fully agree that alcohol related harms are a major problem in our province and country,” a statement said on Friday at the conclusion of a meeting of top officials in the provincial government.
“Our provincial data points to this. When the domestic sale of alcohol was suspended during the lockdown, and then again recently, the number of trauma cases dropped immediately.
“But we cannot view this in isolation of the other consequences of a continued ‘ban’ on the sale of alcohol is causing.”
According to the provincial government, beds were available should the need arise.
The pandemic was believed to have passed its peak, with metro hospitals 69% full, down from 71% the week before (all patients).
In addition, at the field hospitals: the Hospital of Hope at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with 800 beds, had 91 patients admitted; the Brackengate Field Hospital, with a capacity of over 330 beds, had 47 patients admitted; and, the Thusong Centre, with a capacity of 60 beds, had 20 patients admitted.
Earlier on Friday, Winde paid tribute to partners Doctors Without Borders as they moved from The Thusong Centre to help other provinces cope with their peaks.
“In fact, the Western Cape government has now reached a point where we have to carefully consider whether all our field hospitals need to stay open, given these statistics and the scenario provisioning projections.
“We therefore have a complex situation to address in our province, where the continued suspension on the sale of alcohol will result in a jobs bloodbath – mainly in our poorer, rural communities. We cannot ignore this.”