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Alchol sector welcomes level 1 move, worried about off-consumption restrictions

CEO of the South African Liquor Brandowners Association, Kurt Moore, said that the extension of trading days was a step in the right direction but not far enough for the sector that was struggling to recover from the two waves of bans on sales during the lockdown.

FILE: SAB beer crates are being gathered as the Fenyane Bottle store prepares for alcohol sales to resume on 18 August 2020. Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm. Vosloorus, Ekuerhuleni. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - While South Africa's alcohol industry has welcomed the move to Level 1 it has raised concerns about continued restrictions for off-consumption sales of alcohol.

The sale of alcohol is now set to be permitted from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

CEO of the South African Liquor Brandowners Association, Kurt Moore, said that the extension of trading days was a step in the right direction but not far enough for the sector that was struggling to recover from the two waves of bans on sales during the lockdown.

"With most of the indicators tracking the spread and impact of the pandemic showing a positive decline, the key priority for the country is to focus on the economic recovery plan as discussed at Nedlac. This is why the sector was disappointed that the government did not allow alcohol off-consumption outlets to trade to trade in terms of their licensing conditions or at least in some trade on weekends."

Convenor of the National Liquor Traders Council, Lucky Ntimane, said that he welcomed the two-hour extension in trading hours for taverns as this provided an opportunity for the sector to continue to recover.

"This provides the sector with an opportunity to recover. The amendment to 50% of capacity instead of 50 people provides for a better application of the rules between outlets with a big or small capacity for patrons or customers alike."

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