PRESS STATEMENT BY PATRICIA PILLAY
CEO OF THE BEER ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA
24 November 2020
Black Friday: BASA calls for responsible trade and consumption of alcohol
With Black Friday coming up on 27 November 2020, and many retailers already running specials in the run up to Friday, the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) calls on all traders and consumers to sell and consume alcohol safely and moderately.
Given the rise in Covid-19 infections in some provinces over the past few days, it is critical that all role players do their bit to help prevent the spread of the virus. While the majority of South Africans do not consume alcohol at all, those who drink excessively place a heavy burden on our health system. It is therefore important that everybody recognises the need to trade responsibly and consume moderately as we head towards the festive season.
We simply cannot afford to go back to the total banning of alcohol as we did during previous lockdowns. Such strict measures cost the beer industry an estimated 7 400 jobs, R14.2 billion in lost sales revenue and more than R7.4 billion in lost taxes and excise duties, while 31% of craft breweries were forced to shut their doors permanently.
We recognise that Black Friday and the recent lifting of restrictions on the off-consumption trade of alcohol could assist many businesses to get back on their feet. However, it is critical that both retailers and consumers continue to adhere to the level one lockdown regulations, most importantly to ensure the wearing of masks at all times, the continuous sanitising of hands and the enforcement of social distancing. We also call on consumers taking advantage of specials, to please refrain from socialising in large groups and to drink in moderation.
The Beer Association has been engaging with retailers who are also committed to ensuring compliance with all Covid-19 safety protocols during the anticipated busy period. Our members have continued to visit liquor outlets across the country to provide training and guidelines on social distancing and to check if they are complying with the lockdown regulations.
We encourage outlets and consumers to use the click-and-collect platforms that have been developed by the industry so they can buy their alcohol via SMS and arrange to pick-up up their purchases at a designated time in order to avoid queues..
Finally, we call on citizens to report all incidents of criminality linked to the sale of alcohol by calling the toll-free hotline (0800 014 856). This includes outlets that are not enforcing the wearing of masks and proper social distancing, as well as trading after curfew.
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 as we head into the festive season.