Cosatu backs calls to lift ban on alcohol sales, but with conditions
The union federation said it had met with liquor producers and asked them to come up with a plan that addressed the concerns of health authorities and workers.
DURBAN – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday said that it supported calls to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol provided that regulations ensuring responsible drinking were implemented.
The union federation said that it had met with liquor producers and asked them to come up with a plan that addressed the concerns of health authorities and workers.
The plan is expected to be tabled for consideration at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) this week.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said that the liquor industry should secure support from the Department of Health, among other social partners.
“We said once there is a workable plan and it is endorsed by everybody else, then, of course, we have to reopen because we want to save jobs the same way we want to save lives,” Pamla said.
He said that they were also requesting the cigarette industry to come up with solutions so that the ban on the sale of tobacco products could be lifted.
“If cigarette manufactures and sellers can make an argument that will convince all stakeholders, including the Department of Health, there is no reason for them to remain shut down,” he said.
Pamla said that while they supported the protection of lives, livelihoods should also be prioritised.