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Liquor traders urge govt not to bring back complete ban on booze sales

The sale of alcohol during the lockdown has been a bone of contention, and despite eased regulations, the industry is still holding on for economic survival.

FILE: A closed Spar Tops store at the Spruitview Shopping Centre in Vosloorus, Ekuerhuleni on the eve of the alcohol ban lifting on 17 August 2020. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Liquor traders on Sunday urged the government not to impose a complete ban on alcohol sales amid concerns of tighter COVID-19 restrictions being on the cards.

ALSO READ: SA records 11,552 new COVID-19 infections, 245 more related deaths

The sale of alcohol during the lockdown has been a bone of contention, and despite eased regulations, the industry is still holding on for economic survival.

The Liquor Traders Formations called on government to work with the sector to find solutions of mutual benefit on how to fight the pandemic, and ultimately save jobs in the industry.

The group proposed, among other things, that off-premises sales should continue.

“We understand the situation that the country finds itself in, and are alive to the fact that the president and his government have tough decisions to make in the coming days and as citizens of the country we will support government initiatives to tackle COVID-19,” said the convener of the Liquor Traders Formations, Lucky Ntimane, in a statement.

“It is however our belief that any decision that affects our industry should be discussed with us beforehand and our inputs considered before any decision is communicated to the general public,” he added.

The second wave of infections is in full swing accompanied by stringent lockdown restrictions imposed during the festive season.

South Africa has seen a record spike in COVID-19 cases with more than 42,000 infections picked up in the last three days.

READ: Europe begins vaccine roll-out as new COVID-19 strain spreads fears

The Department of Health reported an increase of 11,552 new cases in the last 24-hour cycle, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 994,911.

The number of deaths increased by 245, bringing the total to 26,521 since the start of the national outbreak in March earlier this year.

The number of recoveries currently stands at 839,194.

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