Trevor Manuel’s utterances on lockdown reckless - EFF

Fighters say former minister's insinuation that booze & baccy ban fails test of rationality is unfounded

EFF statement on Trevor Manual’s reckless utterances about lockdown regulations and ban on sales

12 May 2020

The EFF rejects Trevor Manuel's reckless utterances about lockdown regulations and ban of sales. Manuel's insinuation that the ban on sales fails the test of rationality is unfounded.

In fact, since the tobacco and alcohol industry failed attempts to persuade the govemment to allow them to continue to sell their products, they have unleashed their parasitic, neo- colonial, rent-seeking puppets who collected money to finance Mr Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign for the Presidency. Manuel's disguised concern for constitutional rights is actually a call to sacrifice black lives, a call to safeguard the continuation of senseless and irrational profit-making for the sake of profit and not for human survival.

There is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the dangers of substances in alcoholic beverages. Scientists all over the world were at pains to explain both short and long-term effects of alcohol on almost every single organs of our bodies, and how it weakens our immune system and increases the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, one of the most severe complications of COVID-19. It is the same for tobacco that kills more than 8 million people globally every year. Smokers are more likely to develop severe diseases with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers.

The ban on alcohol and tobacco sales during the lockdown, together with the prohibition of sale on other commodities should be informed by scientific evidence and not the pursuit of profit at all cost including the cost of human life. The government should not be pressured to be too quick to try and resume normality chasing some idea of pre-COVlD-19 conditions when the reality is that the profits they are chasing after are gone with the pandemic. All unbanning of sale of goods and services should prioritise human survival towards building a new economy.

The EFF reiterates its call to the African continent to reject the appointment of Manuel as the Special Envoy of the African Union to mobilise international support for African's efforts to address the economic challenges that African countries are facing as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic. The reality is that Washington DC has deployed its best henchmen unscrupulously to impose structural adjustments and austerity measures to the rest of the continent.

Issued by Vuyani Pambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 12 May 2020