Alcohol industry questions rationale behind ban on off-site consumption

On Tuesday night, Ramphosa announced this restriction will kick in from this Friday until next Monday.

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/CAPE TOWN - The Beer Association of South Africa is concerned about the uncertainty and the rationale of banning off-site alcohol consumption again ahead of the long weekend.

On Tuesday night, Ramphosa announced that this restriction would kick in from this Friday until next Monday.

However, on-site sales at restaurants, shebeens and bars will be allowed in line with the licensing conditions up until 11pm.

The association's CEO Patricia Pillay said: “We start to recover and then we start losing the momentum every time. If we had a barometer that every time the numbers spike, you will be shut down, then we have something to work with.”

READ: Govt to review restrictions on public gatherings in 2 weeks - Ramaphosa

Meanwhile, the National Liquor Traders Council said that it was relieved that bars and the like would still be allowed to stay open over the Easter long weekend.

The council's Lucky Ntimane said that they were grateful that the sector wasn't severely restricted, this time around.

He said the Easter period and during December were the key trading times but they had to make some compromises.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue earning a living and also supporting our families. We remain committed to supporting government in its efforts to ensure that we fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He said that a sustainable way of dealing with the situation needed to be found as not allowing off-premise sales would have a negative effect on the retail sector, which had been one of the hardest-hit sectors due to the alcohol ban.

Figures showed that the country's alcohol industry experienced sales revenue losses of about R36 billion over the three bans, totalling 19 weeks of lost trade.

WATCH: SA remains on level 1, gatherings limit increase but no alcohol sale for off-site

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