Members of the South African National Defence Force at a vehicle checkpoint in Sea Point on July 24 2020 in Cape Town. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ROGER SEDRES
Members of the South African National Defence Force at a vehicle checkpoint in Sea Point on July 24 2020 in Cape Town. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ROGER SEDRES

The problem with the current lockdown is that it could eventually result in people dying from the effects of extreme poverty (which include crime, suicide and malnutrition).

Consequently, the need to salvage as much economic activity as possible is immeasurably more important than trying to be fair. Simply put, we cannot allow restaurants to go bankrupt to ensure pub owners feel they are being treated fairly and are not the only ones suffering.

Necessity demands that we ask whether the economic benefit of allowing restaurants to sell a few glasses of wine to someone consuming a meal is likely to be outweighed by the negative consequences. A one-size-fits-all approach that focuses on the similarities between restaurants and pubs is likely to have tragic consequences.

Similarly, the fact that poor people cannot afford to frequent restaurants should not be allowed to obscure the fact that restaurants employ people who come from poor communities and pay taxes that provide the poor with welfare benefits.

Terence Grant, Cape Town

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