A legal bid by SA Breweries (SAB) against the government’s alcohol sales ban has been dismissed with costs by the Western Cape High Court, reports News24.
While South Africans may be feeling parched due to the ban, the fourth of its kind, retail giant Pick ‘n Pay, has stepped in to give their two cents, urging the government to reopen liquor sales in a bid to sustain businesses.
The chief executive for the retailer, Pieter Boone, has been making the rounds at looted stores, warehouses and distributions centres in KwaZulu-Natal. The province was the epicentre for the devasting civil unrest that saw countless stores and malls looted and destroyed, including 136 Pick n Pay stores and 76 liquor stores. According to Boone, an urgent lift on the alcohol ban is the only way the industry can recover, with numerous independent businesses at risk.
“I’d like to call on the president to really review the alcohol restrictions imposed. We all know that over 300 liquor stores have been impacted across KwaZulu-Natal, with over R500 million of illegal stock currently on the market,” said Boone.
According to IOL, the wine industry body Vinpro has also attempted to serve an urgent interdict to allow the Western Cap government to determine at provincial level. However, following the dismissal of the SAB case, Judge Robert Henney indicated that the minister is well within their means to suspend the distribution of alcohol in a state of disaster.