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It might be the right thing for our hospitals right now, but President Cyril Ramaphosa’s alcohol ban has nonetheless highlighted the worst instincts of the governing ANC: its centrist proclivity to control rather than engage its citizenry, a thinly veiled antagonism towards the business sector, and a crippling lack of creativity.

On Monday night, when he announced the extension of the ban, Ramaphosa cited a social media post by Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in which it said that, for the first time since it opened, its trauma ward was empty on New Year’s Eve. “This,” argued Ramaphosa, “goes to show and prove that alcohol does result in behaviour that causes trauma.”..

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