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From tobacco to hot cooked food bans — DA MP calls out ‘hypocritical’ Ramaphosa on earlier regulations

07 December 2021 - 11:23
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been criticised by DA MP Dean Macpherson for some of the regulations imposed in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been criticised by DA MP Dean Macpherson for some of the regulations imposed in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Image: Cyril Ramaphosa via Twitter

DA MP Dean Macpherson on Monday called out President Cyril Ramaphosa for some restrictions implemented in the early stages of the lockdown last year.

The MP questioned whether the bans on the sale of hot cooked food and cigarettes were backed by science. 

Macpherson was responding to Ramaphosa’s criticism of the travel bans imposed by some countries after the detection of the Omicron variant in SA.

The president this week spoke in a panel discussion at the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, where he said the SA travel ban by countries like the UK was not based on science. 

“These travel bans will devastate the economies of Southern Africa that are dependent on tourism. They go precisely against what was agreed at the G20 in Italy earlier this year when it was said we must open up travel so the tourism sector can recover,” said Ramaphosa. 

He said one of the disadvantages faced by African countries was their inability to produce their own vaccines. 

“For us to meet the challenge presented by new variants, as Africa we cannot wait around for vaccines to be allocated to us as we were forced to in the past. I want to use this opportunity to call on our sister African countries to support this proposal,” he said. 

Macpherson agreed with Ramaphosa before questioning the earlier restrictions. 

Macpherson was a vocal critic of the government early last year after trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel declared food retailers were not allowed to sell cooked hot food. 

The MP said the decision was illogical and ill-considered.

Among his main concerns was that the ban affected elderly people who were unable to cook for themselves and relied on food retailers. 

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also received heavy criticism for the ban on the sale of tobacco products. The minister said these were not essential and posed a threat to the health system. 


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