National Liquor Traders Council to ensure responsible alcohol trade

Business

Ntombekhaya Zibi

Since the South African government has given the green light to the industry to resume alcohol sales under level two of the lockdown, the National Liquor Traders Council said it would ensure that the alcohol sector trades responsibly, in line with all COVID-19 protocols.

The livelihoods of liquor traders, manufactures and distributors came to an abrupt halt last month when President Cyril Ramaphosa re-implemented the ban, following pressure on the country’s health facilities.

The council’s Sibani Mngadi said the effects of the ban have left the sector in disarray but they’re to start the recovery process now.

“We do agree that government was faced with a very difficult situation of which we share the concern of the need to save lives and we appreciate the position that has been taken to allow us to trade and we do believe that we can now at this stage balance the effects on livelihoods.”

Meanwhile, the wine sector has lost more than R7 billion over the past several months.

Industry representative body Vinpro has nonetheless welcomed the further opening of the economy.

However, managing director Rico Basson said many businesses have had to close: “As the wine industry, we can confirm that we are geared for the reopening of domestic trade and distribution with all the necessary health and safety regulations in place while focusing on changing the behaviour with regards to responsible production, motion, trade and consumption.”

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