Beer Association of SA heads to court to review govt's COVID alcohol sales ban

The Beer Association of South Africa wants past bans declared irrational, invalid and set aside.

FILE: Distributors prepare to send out beer after the ban on alcohol sales was lifted with the country moving to lockdown level 2 on 18 August 2020. Picture: Veronica Mokhoali/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Beer Association of South Africa has approached the courts to get more information from government on alcohol sale bans imposed throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

It's unclear if COVID-19 restrictions will be tightened, including another ban on liquor sales, as cases are rising.

The association has reiterated that previous bans had a devastating impact on the industry.

It claims that more than R42 billion had been lost in retail sales and the curbs had led to a R60 billion loss to the GDP.

The association has launched a review application of previous alcohol bans.

The application focuses on government's decision to enforce bans in July and December 2020 as well as June 2021, and the move to continue imposing further restrictions on the trade of liquor during July 2021.

It wants past bans declared irrational, invalid and set aside.

It said that with no evidence having been provided by government to support its decisions to enforce the measure, the application argues that the state had failed to take into account the devastating impact on the alcohol industry.

The association said if another alcohol sales ban was to be imposed at a time when the tourism and hospitality sectors were trying to recover, it would be the final nail in the coffin for thousands of businesses.