The Kingdom of Eswatini continues to experience a decline in COVID-19 infections. While this is welcome news, it should never give us false hope that the worst is behind us. We cannot afford to be complacent until a vaccine has been found. COVID-19 still exist and many lives are still in danger.

Our biggest responsibility as a government is to find and explore ways to strike a balance between stabilising the economy and saving lives. However we cannot win this ravaging war unless all of us take full responsibility for our actions and follow without fail all the COVID-19 guidelines.

It would be unfortunate if after all the work and sacrifices we have made as a country and the sacrifices made by our health workers, teachers and stakeholders, we experience another rapid rise in the number of cases due to failure follow guidelines as stated.

Health experts have projected a second wave over the festive season because around this time there is generally more movement amongst people, big family gatherings and high consumption of alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, as the economy continues to open, there is more movement of people thus increasing the chances of the virus spreading.

We have observed a second wave of the novel coronavirus in many countries around the world, indicating that lowering our guard at any time would have unpleasant consequences.

Government, as previously announced, has taken the decision to open alcohol sales on Monday 26 October 2020.  It is with this in mind that I would like to remind all Emaswati that while consuming alcohol can be a joyous occasion for some, it is important to observe not just the Health guidelines but the liquor re-opening guidelines. These guidelines are to be observed strictly, failure to which we will not hesitate the close any establishment that fails to adhere to these protocols. May I remind the nation of the conditions of opening the sale of alcohol.

  • Liquor shall only be sold for home use. Drinking in public places, at picnics and the hosting of house parties is not allowed.
  • Hotel residents to consume liquor only in their rooms.
  • Liquor to be served in glasses and strictly no sharing.
  • Liquor businesses shall provide screening for all workers and clients when entering premises.
  • Liquor businesses shall have the responsibility to enforce the wearing of masks and the observation of social distancing by everyone entering their premises as well as ensure that there is no loitering around their premises.

It cannot be emphasised enough that alcohol affects the central nervous system and takes away rational decision making. Some of the dangers of alcohol include that;  

  1. Alcohol use, especially heavy use, weakens the immune system and thus reduces the ability to cope with infectious diseases.
  2. Alcohol alters your thoughts, judgement, decision-making and behaviour all which are required for people to take safety precautions to Covid-19.
  1. Heavy use of alcohol increases the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, one of the most severe complications of COVID-19.
  1. Additionally most people like to drink in groups and in areas without sufficient spacing or ventilation and it is impossible to wear masks and drink alcohol
  2. All the above risk factors lead to a higher risk of getting COVID-19

May I emphasise and make a passionate plea that Emaswati be responsible in their consumption of their alcoholic beverages at all times. We are now living in a new normal and have to avoid going through another phase of high infections as predicted. We owe it to ourselves, our families and country to save lives and allow our economy to step up to a level which we all desire.

At this point, may I once more condemn gender based violence, particularly against of women and children. It is disheartening to continue hearing reports of gender violence regularly in the country. May I reiterate that Government will continue push to ensure that perpetrators are taken off the streets and face the consequences of their vile actions. Such a despicable behaviour does not belong to the norms and culture of Emaswati and has to be condemned with the contempt it deserves. May I caution that the resumption of alcohol sales is not a license to hide behind alcohol to be violent against women and children.

We are grateful to all Emaswati who have taken the COVID-19 challenges in their stride. We continue to observe many Emaswati strictly wearing their face masks and following the health precautions. I will once again emphasise that let us protect each other and never allow anything to compromise our thinking and responsible actions. Asinatse emakhaya, sigweme ticuku. Ngetulu kwaloko natsa enkomishini yakho wedvwa jwi.

Thank you.

Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini                    



22 OCTOBER 2020

OffCanvas Menu