PRESS STATEMENT BY BEER ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA
12 September 2021
Beer industry cautiously welcomes further easing of lockdown restrictions
The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) cautiously welcomes President Ramaphosa’s announcement tonight that, from tomorrow, the country will move to adjusted level 2, which will see a new curfew of 23h00 to 04h00; on-consumption alcohol sales being allowed 7 days a week until 22h00 and off-consumption sales from Monday to Friday between 10h00 and 18h00.
The further easing of restrictions will provide some reprieve to those businesses that have survived the four alcohol bans, which forced the industry to shut down for 161 days since March last year putting just over 240 000 jobs at risk.
However, with a Covid-19 fourth wave expected to hit at the beginning of December, any recovery seen in the sector will be eradicated should another ban be enforced by government over the festive season. With this period also being the busiest time for liquor outlets and establishments, another alcohol ban will no doubt be the final nail in the coffin for thousands of businesses and the jobs they support.
BASA therefore continues to call for proper consultation by government before considering any new regulations to stop the spread of Covid-19 over the coming months. Our industry, and the over 450 000 livelihoods it supports, can simply not afford the President announcing another immediate ban on the legal trade of alcohol without any prior warning or an opportunity to properly engage with government.
The beer industry will continue rolling out reasonable interventions that can save both lives and livelihoods during the pandemic. We call on all liquor outlets and establishments to continue playing their part by enforcing 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.
Finally, we also encourage all South Africans over the age of 18 years to get vaccinated. This is the only way we will be able to fully reopen the economy and resume our normal lives.
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