Tebogo Msimanga |
The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) says it will submit an urgent Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to the National Covid Command Council (NCCC) to obtain the data and evidence on which it based its decision to extend the 4th alcohol ban for another two weeks.
President Cyril Ramphosa addressed the nation on Sunday evening and said the alcohol ban is extended for another 14 days.
BASA reiterated that the latest alcohol ban, which has been in place since the 28th of June, has already served a devastating blow to the alcohol industry, putting an estimated 4603 jobs at risk as well as potential loss of R5.1 billion in taxes and excise duties.
“In all our discussions with the government, it has been acknowledged that the main driver of infections is large gatherings and the failure to observe mask-wearing and social distancing protocols. We have also not been provided with the data showing the link between alcohol and increased hospital admissions, despite requesting this from the government on numerous occasions.”
BASA further said it notes the announcement by President Ramaphosa that Covid-19 TERS funding will be extended to industries affected by the adjusted alert level 4 lockdown. “We eagerly await the details of this assistance as businesses within the beer industry have received zero financial assistance since the start of the lockdown in March last year.”
The Beer Association added that the way to overcome the pandemic and prevent Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths is the roll-out a mass vaccination programme.
“400 000 livelihoods dependent on the alcohol industry will simply not survive if the current alcohol ban continues any longer. We simply must ensure that we save both lives and livelihoods during the third wave.”