Pick n Pay CEO urges govt to lift alcohol ban to help sustain businesses

CEO Pieter Boone has been visiting damaged stores, warehouses and distribution centres in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng this week.

FILE: At least 136 of Pick n Pay's grocery and clothing stores were looted while others were burnt during the wave of violence that gripped the country last week. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - As South African supermarket chains try to repair and restock their damaged stores, Pick n Pay group has urged the government to reopen liquor sales to help sustain their businesses.

CEO Pieter Boone has been visiting damaged stores, warehouses and distribution centres in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng this week.

He has met with affected staff members, franchise partners and other stakeholders.

At least 136 of Pick n Pay's grocery and clothing stores were looted while others were burnt during the wave of violence that gripped the country last week.

This includes about 76 liquor stores.

Following the aftermath of the widespread rioting, Boone said the alcohol sales ban needed to be lifted urgently in order for the industry to recover.

He said many independent retailers would not survive if it went on for much longer: ā€œIā€™d like to call on the president to really review the alcohol restrictions imposed. We all know that over 300 liquor stores have been impacted across KwaZulu-Natal with over R500 million of illegal stock currently on the market.ā€

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