Consider our input on alcohol restrictions, traders plead with govt

The alcohol sector is now worried stringent restrictions on the industry could deal a devastating blow on already struggling outlets.

FILE: SAB beer crates are being gathered as the Fenyane Bottle store prepares for alcohol sales to resume on 18 August 2020. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - With the COVID-19 pandemic mounting pressure on the country’s health system, liquor traders on Monday called on government to consider their inputs while some unions said there should be stricter regulations.

ALSO READ: Calls for govt to tighten lockdown restrictions amid spike in COVID-19 cases

Speculation is rife that government will change its strategy in the fight against the pandemic after the country passed the agonising milestone of one million confirmed cases.

The alcohol sector is now worried stringent restrictions on the industry could deal a devastating blow on already struggling outlets.

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

“We feel that a total ban on the liquor industry is not going to be sustainable for us and we’re also trying to recover from the previous lockdown,” the group’s convener Lucky Ntimane.

“We are really hoping that this December and in early January we will be able to trade, but we are waiting for the president to make that call,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) is asking for government to implement tougher restrictions to help alleviate the pressure on workers who are said to be fatigued and depressed.

READ: More WC health workers contract COVID-19

Officials in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal said they had already reached their bed capacities.

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