NLTC concerned over rise in deaths from illicit home-brewed alcohol

The National Liquor Traders Council said the strict ban on the sale of booze during the COVID-19 lockdown has proved to be particularly deadly in the Eastern Cape, where at least 19 people have died after drinking home-brewed alcohol.

FILE: Illicit home-brewed alcohol confiscated by police. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC) said that it was concerned by the sharp rise in deaths as a result of illicit, home-brewed alcohol.

The organisation said that the strict ban on the sale of booze during the COVID-19 lockdown had proved to be particularly deadly in the Eastern Cape, where at least 19 people had died after drinking home-brewed alcohol.

Apart from these tragic deaths, the organisation’s convenor, Lucky Ntimane, said that taverns and other businesses reliant on the sale of alcohol had been hit hard by the recent widespread looting and unrest in Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal, with more than 230 sites destroyed.

“The issue of home brewing is a huge phenomenon that continues to plague our communities. Much of the looted liquor will find its way into the illicit concoctions, which are being produced on a large scale and are readily available in the communities. To that, you must now add that pharmacists were looted and into the mix will go cough mixtures, and who knows what other additions,” he said.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.