By A Correspondent- The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) said it was cautiously welcoming the announcement by President Ramaphosa last night that the country would, from today, move to adjusted level two (2).
The move from level lockdown three (3) would see a new curfew of 23h00 to 04h00; on-consumption alcohol sales being allowed seven(7) days a week until 22h00, and off-consumption sales from Monday to Friday between 10h00 and 18h00.
Below is the complete statement by BASA:
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 government enforce another ban 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 a proper consultation by the 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 the 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 reopen the economy and resume our normal lives fully.