The National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC) is concerned over the restrictions on alcohol sales that goes into effect on Monday, as South Africa moves to Alert Level.
During the 9 week lockdown, the alcohol industry lost R18 billion in revenue and R3.4 billion in excise tax according to Distell.
For the alcohol industry, this means that consumers can purchase booze on Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm, but weekends are still off limits.
In a statement, Kurt Moore, CEO of the South African Liquor Brand owners Association (SALBA), said the extension in trading hours and the curfew is a positive move for the industry but he worries about the struggling sector.
“Extension of trading days to Friday for off-consumption and two hours extension for on-consumption to midnight is a step in the right direction, but not far enough for our sector that is struggling to recover from the two waves of bans on formal sales of alcohol during the lockdown.”
The NLTC were not informed prior to President Ramaphosa’s reinstatement of the alcohol ban on July 12 and requested financial relief for members of the industry.
“It was our expectation that as a president who thrives on consultation we would at least have been consulted on such an important matter as this, which is literally our livelihood and means of survival, source of pride and a vehicle which enables us to send our kids to school and put food on the table for our families and our workers,” said Ntimane to TimesLive.
Ntimane has celebrated the decision to extend the curfew and liquor trading hours. “We welcome the two-hour extension in trading hours for taverns. This provides an opportunity for the sector to continue to recover. The amendment to 50% capacity instead of 50 people only, provides better variance of application of the rules between outlets with big or small capacity for patrons.”
There are concerns though that the extensions are not enough. According to the SABC, Ntimane has said that they will be addressing government over their concerns.