Tebogo Msimanga |
The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) is urgently calling for the alcohol ban to be lifted so that legal businesses can operate, to avoid a possible collapse of the industry and the million livelihoods it supports. One hundred and sixty-one liquor outlets and distribution centres were looted and damaged in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng
BASA along with the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa (LTASA) and VINPRO has therefore written to Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the devastating impact of the ban and alternative interventions that could save both lives and livelihoods during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is estimated that the latest four-week ban has put 9206 jobs in the alcohol industry at risk, with a potential loss of R10.2 billion in taxes and excise duties. This follows the three previous bans which resulted in over 7400 jobs lost in the beer industry alone as well as R14.2 billion in lost beer sales revenue and more than a R7.8 billion loss in taxes and excise duties.
“As the cabinet member directly responsible for trade and industry in the country, it is critical that Minister Patel takes up the industry’s concerns in order to save a sector that is vital to our economy, to ensure its ability to continue supporting over one million livelihoods during these difficult times.”
BASA said disappointingly, no response has been received from Minister Patel’s office to date. “The beer industry therefore publicly calls on Minister Patel to schedule this meeting as a matter of urgency and to intervene to save a sector on the brink of collapse.”