The ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes will remain in place throughout South Africa’s lockdown level 3 period, the government has said.

“The purpose is to save lives and protect the health and well-being of our people,” it said through its social media channel on Twitter on Wednesday (22 July). The president reinstated the ban on the sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor on 12 July. “It is not a ban, it’s a suspension to allow our health system to be able to cope,” he said.

According to Government, patients who suffer from alcohol-related injuries often place a strain on medical resources for extended periods.