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The government’s lockdown may be effective, but it’s also been one of the more draconian in the world. Besides an irrational ban on exercising outdoors, buying cooked food and cigarettes, one of the most unpopular regulations has been a ban on alcohol sales.

The Gauteng Liquor Forum – which represents shebeens, bars and bottle store owners – has threatened to take the government to the Constitutional Court. But as much as it might irk those whose alcohol supplies are running low, the government has a strong argument for why the booze ban should remain...

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