Alcohol industry urges govt not to impose further COVID restrictions on sector

The South African Liquor Brand Owners Association said that the economic recovery of the alcohol, tourism and hospitality sectors was paramount to protect employment and grow the economy to pre-COVID-19 levels.

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 is strongly urging government that any further responses to the growth in COVID-19 infections should avoid sudden restrictions that would cause needless financial shocks to businesses.

South African Liquor Brand Owners Association said that the economic recovery of the alcohol, tourism and hospitality sectors were paramount to protect employment and grow the economy to pre-COVID-19 levels.

SALBA CEO Kurt Moore: "We appeal to our government going forward not to apply further restrictions and cause any further harm to the domestic economy by imposing unsound economic restrictions in the coming weeks. More than ever before it remains critical that the industry is consulted when the decisions impact the sector. The previous alcohol ban resulted in an estimated annualised loss to the GDP of R60.7 billion, which the country can ill afford."

He added that despite all the knee-jerk global response to the announcement of the new variant in the country, government had some control over what happened to the domestic market.

VinPro managing director Rico Basson said that it was extremely important that government consulted thoroughly and was informed about the impact that any decisions regarding COVID-19 and possible restrictions may have on the respective sectors, their workforce.

"VinPro and its industry partner, therefore, continue to engage with more than 10 national government departments to provide them with the necessary information to make fact-based decisions regarding trade restrictions and other policy decisions," Basson said.