Alcohol industry worried businesses will die if another booze ban hits

South African Liquor Brand Owners Association said they couldn't understand government's decision prohibiting off-consumption sales on weekends.

FILE: Alcohol sales from retail outlets for off-site consumption is allowed between 10 am and 6 pm from Monday to Friday. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The country is now on adjusted level 2, but the alcohol industry warned that when the fourth wave hits and another ban is implemented, it would be the final nail in the coffin.

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

South African Liquor Brand Owners Association Chairperson Sibani Mngadi said they couldn't understand government's decision prohibiting off-consumption sales on weekends.

He said they had approached the ministerial advisory council and government representatives at Nedlac about their concerns.

“Government has never explained the rationale for this decision nor provided any evidence for it,” he said.

CEO of the Beer Association of South Africa Patricia Pillay said the further easing of restrictions would provide some reprieve to those businesses that survived the four alcohol bans, but she said they worried about December.

“COVID-19 fourth wave is expected to hit at the beginning of December, if it happens, the sector will be eradicated should another ban be enforced by government over the festive season,” she said.

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