PRESS STATEMENT BY PATRICIA PILLAY
CEO OF THE BEER ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA
18 August 2020
Beer Association calls for responsible consumption as trade re-opens
With the country moving to Alert level 2 of the lockdown today, which includes the re-opening of the sale of alcohol, the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) calls on traders and consumers to sell and consume alcohol safely and responsibly.
Now, more than ever, we need to ensure the safe and legal re-opening of the sector. Alcohol abuse and intoxication is a scourge in our society and a burden on our health system as we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is essential that all role players recognise the importance of responsible and moderate alcohol consumption. In this way we can safeguard the 414 886 livelihoods the beer industry supports while also prioritising lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this regard, the beer industry, along with the broader alcohol industry, is implementing a number of programmes to ensure the responsible trade of alcohol and to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This includes providing training and guidelines to liquor outlets on social distancing and how to trade responsibly and safely. We have also developed click-and-collect platforms where customers can place orders via SMS and then pick up their alcohol purchases at a designated time for consumption at home, in order to prevent overcrowding at taverns.
The industry has also set up a toll-free hotline (0800 014 856), which citizens can call to report incidents of criminality linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol during the lockdown. The hotline is administered by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa who will liaise with law enforcement on cases reported.
We call on liquor outlets to play their part by adhering to the rules of trade stipulated in the Alert Level 2 regulations, to enforce the wearing of masks and social distancing in their establishments. We also call on consumers to drink in moderation and continue taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from Covid-19.
With thousands of outlets struggling to get back on their feet following the last two alcohol bans, increased restrictions or another ban could be a final blow for these businesses and the livelihoods they support.
The Beer Association of South Africa, along with the rest of the alcohol industry, remains committed to working with government to address any contraventions of the lockdown regulations as they arise and to ensure the safe and responsible trading and consumption of liquor during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.