Beer Association promotes moderate alcohol consumption as fourth wave looms

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night announced lockdown regulations would remain at level one, despite rising infections and the confirmation of a new variant.

FILE: The pandemic remains a threat to the alcohol industry and livelihoods associated with the sector. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Fearing a crackdown on alcohol sales when COVID-19 hospitalisations rise, the Beer Association of South Africa (Basa) on Monday said it was advocating moderate consumption and adherence to safety measures.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night announced lockdown regulations would remain at level one, despite rising infections and the confirmation of a new variant.

The pandemic remains a threat to the alcohol industry and livelihoods associated with the sector.

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The looming fourth wave is especially concerning, since it's emerging ahead of the summer holidays and festive season.

With that in mind, Basa is again calling for proper consultation before any harsher restrictions like an alcohol sales ban are considered.

Such bans are meant to reduce trauma cases in hospitals when they are needed to care for severely ill COVID-19 patients.

However, the association claims government has failed to provide evidence or data to back up the last four alcohol bans.

It warns another ban without warning could be a death knell for thousands of businesses and livelihoods.

CEO Patricia Pillay said they were relying on the festive season to recover from R42.2 billion in lost sales that had placed more than 233,000 jobs at risk.

She said 30% of local breweries shut their doors permanently and 165,000 jobs were lost by January.

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