Fikile Mbalula told to 'voetsek' as he pushes for 0% alcohol level for motorists
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has been told to “voetsek” by angry South African social media users after he announced he is pushing for a 0% alcohol level for motorists.
On Tuesday evening, the minister spoke about the adjusted transport regulations for level 2 of lockdown. He expressed concern about the impact of alcohol after the deaths of three Tshwane metro police officers in a head-on collision with an allegedly drunk driver on Sunday.
Mbalula said government is in the process of introducing the Road Traffic Amendment Bill which would prohibit motorists from driving with any concentration of alcohol in their blood. The bill was introduced in parliament in June this year.
“Section 65 of the principal Act is thereby amended. No persons shall on public roads drive or occupy the driver's seat of a motor vehicle, the engine of which is running, while there is any concentration of alcohol in a specimen of blood taken from any part of his or her body,” said the minister.
Mbalula said road fatalities, which cost the economy R18,2bn annually, were significantly reduced during the ban on alcohol sales.
“Just one weekend after lifting the ban on sales, even though we can't quantify them, we have seen horrible scenes on our roads. Alcohol is a big challenge in this country and a holistic approach on how we regulate alcohol is going to be important,” he said.
Mbalula emphasised that he is pushing for the regulation of access to alcohol and not a total ban on its sale.
“The notion of a ban will not arise in our situation. We had to do it because we wanted to fight the coronavirus. But in terms of our daily situation and the laws of the country, there is nothing that will move us to a total ban on alcohol,” he said.
Mbalula was seemingly unfazed by a lack of support from South Africans as he used the trending #voetsekFikile to reiterate his stance on booze regulations.
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These are some of the responses:
Fikile Mbalula, Bheki Cele and the entire ANC gang are so concerned about alcohol more than their corruption, our unemployment and poverty🙄— Herold Kutlwano (@efete_k) August 25, 2020
I don't know if what I'm about to say makes sense. Closure of alcohol was to prevent gatherings to curb the spread of Corona ne, why is it about accidents now? People are deprived for the longest of time and obviously they'll get over excited after the ban 🤷🏾♂️#fikilembalula— »ⓐⓡⓚ« (@RicoZondi) August 25, 2020
Only if we can have 0% on corruption by December also, this will just increase a bribe price only ,I mean there is a certain percentage of alcohol not to exceed but still people drive cz they know they’ll pass all road blocks if they have enough money #fikilembalula— phaswana mido (@MidoPhaswana) August 25, 2020