PRESS STATEMENT BY PATRICIA PILLAY
CEO OF THE BEER ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA
02 September 2020
Following recent reports of alcohol outlets breaching the level 2 lockdown regulations, the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) has committed itself to identifying establishments found breaking the law and cutting off their supply.
Beer manufacturers will be requesting the details from municipalities and provincial liquor authorities of businesses whose licenses have been revoked since sales resumed and will stop the supply of alcohol to them. We will continue to blacklist such businesses as part of our ongoing drive to encourage responsible alcohol distribution and consumption.
While the majority of outlets and restaurants are complying with the lockdown regulations, we have been receiving reports of businesses who are selling and serving alcohol outside of the legal trading hours. We have also had reports of outlets not adhering to social distancing protocols and thereby putting the health and safety of their customers at risk.
Many South Africans drink moderately and safely without any adverse impact on the public health system. But, unfortunately, there are too many people who drink in excess and endanger people’s lives.
Together, as a society, we need to find a way of curbing this destructive cycle of alcohol abuse. It is therefore critical that all role players recognise the importance of responsible and moderate alcohol consumption during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Beer Association of South Africa is committed to supporting government’s enforcement efforts against businesses breaching the lockdown regulations. We do this in recognition of the dangers of alcohol abuse, as well as the need for the alcohol industry to be sustainable. South Africa can simply not afford another clampdown on a sector that supports one million livelihoods.
We encourage citizens to report all incidents of criminality linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol during the lockdown by calling the toll-free hotline (0800 014 856) that has been set up by the alcohol industry and administered by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa. To date, the hotline has received numerous calls on businesses contravening the regulations, which have been referred to the SAPS and the national and provincial liquor authorities.
The Beer Association of South Africa will continue working with government, the restaurant industry and other key stakeholders across the supply chain to come up with solutions that tackle the excessive consumption of alcohol in communities; safeguards the 414 886 livelihoods the beer industry supports and prioritises lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.