Alcohol sector welcomes move to level 2 but still worried over some regulations

The South African Liquor Brand owners Association (Salba) said that while it welcomed government move to shift the curfew to 11pm, it was concerned about the continued prohibition of off-consumption sales on Saturday and Sunday.

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

CAPE TOWN - SA's alcohol industry said that while it welcomed government's decision move the country to adjusted alert level 2, it still had concerns and unanswered questions on regulations.

On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the sale of alcohol.

Alcohol sales from retail outlets for off-site consumption is allowed between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Friday. On-site consumption is permitted up to 10pm.

The South African Liquor Brand owners Association (Salba) said that while it welcomed government move to shift the curfew to 11pm, it was concerned about the continued prohibition of off-consumption sales on Saturday and Sunday.

Salba chairperson Sibani Mngadi said that government had failed to justify this decision.

"Government has never explained the rationale for this decision nor provided any evidence for it. These decisions encourage illegal sales of alcohol, which has grown significantly since the start of the lockdown," Mngadi said.

At the same time, the Beer Association of South Africa (Basa) said that it cautiously welcomed the easing of restrictions.

The association is looking at the near future - the COVID-19 fourth wave is expected to hit at the beginning of December.

It said that recovery seen in the sector would be eradicated should another ban be enforced by government over the festive season. Therefore it was requesting for proper consultation from government before it considered any new regulations.

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