“NCCC must lift alcohol ban to prevent total collapse of the industry”

Business South Africa

Just News |

With the National Corona Virus Command Council (NCCC) scheduled to meet Cabinet on Sunday on the government’s response to the Covid-19 third wave, the beer industry urges these decision makers to lift the alcohol ban, which has been in place since 28 June 2021, in order to prevent a total collapse of the sector.

The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) said the latest estimates reveal that the four alcohol bans, which have forced businesses to close their doors for 161 days, has put 248 759 jobs at risk and cost the country’s GDP an estimated R64.8 billion.

“These figures do not take into account the recent looting of liquor outlets and distributors in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, which saw R500 million worth of alcohol entering the illicit market and 332 businesses being destroyed.”

On Thursday, 22 July 2021, BASA wrote to the NCCC requesting formal consultation ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement this evening, 25 July 2021. “Industry members reiterated their commitment to ensuring all outlets and establishments strictly adhered to Covid-19 regulations and health protocols in order to ensure the safety of customers”.

BASA said unfortunately, the NCCC has not formally responded to this request, nor has government to date provided the data on which it has based its decision to enforce four alcohol bans since March last year.

BASA maintains that curfews, a ban on large gatherings, social distancing in establishments, compulsory mask wearing coupled with the roll out of a comprehensive vaccine programme, is the only way we can save lives and livelihoods during the pandemic.

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