"People are organising parties now, they visit each other as friends, they visit families and relatives. It's like there's no lockdown."
There was generally agreement within the cabinet with Gauteng's proposals for tightening the regulations around the sale of alcohol, instead of an outright ban on sales, he said.
Present regulations allow for alcohol to be sold from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm. But since the reintroduction of alcohol sales, there has been an increase in trauma unit admissions at hospitals.
The health department has appointed a special task team to assess the impact of alcohol consumption on a health system that is already under pressure. Director-general Sandile Buthelezi told parliament this week that since the ban on alcohol was lifted, serious problems have emerged, chief among these being the clogging of emergency beds with patients admitted after alcohol-related incidents.
But while Gauteng wants tighter restrictions, the province is not calling for a return to a higher level of the lockdown or closing of the economy further.
"We support the current risk-adjusted strategy, which allows for the economy to reopen. We even emphasised that we are one of those that argued strongly for the reopening of the economy and we are not calling for hard lockdown, we don't want to shut down the economy. As the economic hub of country, we understand the implications of doing that for province and country," the provincial insider said.
Contacted on Saturday, minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu declined to comment on discussions in the cabinet and the NCCC, saying he can't speak on these issues until the president has addressed the nation.