SAAPA calls on South Africans to support continued ban on alcohol sales

It’s also calling on South African Breweries to withdraw its legal challenge to government's decision to temporarily suspend the transportation and sale of alcohol.

SAB beer crates are being gathered as Fenyane Bottle store prepares for alcohol sales, It will also be allowed again on the 18 August 2020. Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10 pm. Vosloorus, Ekuerhuleni. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) is calling on all South Africans to support and honour the continued ban on the sale of alcohol.

It’s also calling on South African Breweries to withdraw its legal challenge to government's decision to temporarily suspend the transportation and sale of alcohol.

The alliance said that it did not believe that government and the National Coronavirus Command Council reached this decision lightly and said it considered the balance between lives and livelihoods.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night announced that the country would remain on level 3 lockdown regulations.

In full: Ramaphosa's COVID-19 address 11 January 2021

He also confirmed that the ban on alcohol sales would be extended to limit trauma cases at hospitals.

“The sale of alcohol from retail outlets and the on-site consumption of alcohol is still not be permitted. Health services in several parts of the country reported that the prohibition of alcohol sales had significantly reduced the number of trauma cases seen in our hospitals over the New Year period.”

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa shuts land borders, keeps alcohol ban in bid to halt virus spread

Not everyone agrees with the booze ban.

The Beer Association of South Africa said that the extended alcohol ban would be the death knell for many more small craft brewers in the sector.

The association's Patricia Pillay said that 30% of local breweries have been forced to permanently shut their doors.

“Over 100,000 people have already slid into poverty because of the alcohol ban in the industry alone. We are well aware of the immense pressure COVID-19 has placed on our healthcare system and need for interventions, however, this cannot be at the expense of people’s livelihoods.”

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