Concerns over possible December alcohol ban in South Africa – industry seeks consultation

The South African Beer Association (BASA) welcomed the government’s decision to maintain a Level 1 blockade without further restricting alcohol sales, but in the coming weeks, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement on Sunday. I warned that the situation could change.

In his speech, Rama Poza said that alcohol was still allowed to be sold under normal license conditions, but could not be sold during the curfew period from 00:00 to 04:00 daily. However, the government said it would carefully monitor infection rates and hospitalizations over the next few days and consider the situation in another week.

“Next, we need to determine if existing measures are appropriate or if changes need to be made to current regulations,” he said.

BASA has asked the president to consult with the industry if he plans to resume alcohol regulation in December.

To date, it said the government did not provide evidence or data based on their decision to implement the last four alcohol bans.

“Another immediate ban on the legitimate trade in alcohol during the holiday season is the secret to death for thousands of companies and the livelihoods they support, without prior warning or the opportunity for proper engagement with the government. Probably. “

According to BASA, the previous ban on alcohol had a devastating impact on the alcohol industry, with retail sales of R42.2 billion and GDP of R60.7 billion.

Excise income tax losses total R10.2 billion, putting more than 233,000 jobs at risk. The ban also served as a major boost to the illegal alcohol industry, which grew to a value of over R20.5 billion in 2020.

Due to the ban on alcohol, 30% of local breweries were permanently closed and by January 2021, 165,000 people had lost their jobs. We cannot afford another ban as it came into force last December.

The beer industry said it will continue to implement Covid-19 safety regulations during the holiday season, including proper disinfection, wearing masks, ensuring social distance and encouraging vaccination of all South Africans. ..

“We call on all liquor stores and facilities to continue to play their role by forcing them to wear masks and social distance within the facility, and encourage consumers to drink moderately. We will continue to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19 for the upcoming festive season.

“Finally, we also encourage all South Africans who are eligible to be vaccinated. This is the only way we can mitigate the effects of the fourth wave in the coming weeks.”

Own goal

Busi Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), repeated these feelings.

In her weekly newsletter, Mabso said the government should avoid earning “own goals” in the wake of Omicron variants and avoid a total ban on alcohol.

“The key to avoiding such goals is consultation. Unfortunately, previous measures have surprised companies and regulations have caused unnecessary damage. Governments have various policies. You need to understand the outcome of the option and provide enough information to your business so that you can plan to minimize the outcome, “she said.

Alcohol restriction is a clear example, she said.

“A complete ban has strongly stimulated the illegal alcohol industry and has given resources to a criminal network that enables far wider crimes. It will already take years to undo this, and the transportation of alcohol. It has caused unnecessary harm to export trade by limiting and harming the industrial use of alcohol. This is all unintended consequences that may have been foreseen by consultations.

“As long as other measures such as social distance are strictly adhered to, the health benefits of banning the safe consumption of alcohol in homes and hospitality facilities are not really possible for the government. That is, it is unacceptable to make the alcohol industry a scapegoat because we have not been able to fully implement countermeasures against virus infections.

She said that the true focus of all efforts must be on immunization of the population.

read: South Africa remains blockage level 1 for now – essential vaccines are being discussed: Ramaphosa

Concerns over possible December alcohol ban in South Africa – industry seeks consultation

Source link Concerns over possible December alcohol ban in South Africa – industry seeks consultation

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