Beer Association of SA: Alcohol ban to boost illicit trade

According to the association, the illicit trade cost the economy R11 billion last year. It said one million jobs were at stake across the beer industry's value chain.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) on Monday said the latest liquor ban would only boost the illicit alcohol trade.

On Sunday, the country's move to an adjusted level 4 lockdown resulted in alcohol sales being prohibited for a 14-day period.

According to the association, the illicit trade cost the economy R11 billion last year. It said one million jobs were at stake across the beer industry's value chain.

The association said it had supported government by providing billions of rand in funding for PPE and the establishment of the Nasrec field hospital in Joburg.

Despite this, BASA said it continued to be in the firing line, even though it had submitted numerous proposals to government on ways to deal with the crisis.

“More than R4 billion in the alcohol industry was lost to the system. That money could have been used for vaccines, but all the attention, always goes towards our industry,” said CEO Patricia Pillay.

The association said it had offered all its resources to help government speed up its vaccination drive, but that this had been ignored.

“We can get to the ends of the world with our trucks, we can use our facilities to actually develop a vaccine. So, we keep on making these proposals, we keep on making offers, and we keep on getting shut down,” Pillay added.

BASA is pursuing legal counsel following government's decision to impose this liquor ban.

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