The South African Breweries (SAB) is fiercely opposed to the prohibition of the sale of alcohol and claims that government has criminalised the industry unfairly, and were discriminating against the alcohol industry’s workers and families.
“We cannot agree that our sector is continuously criminalised and called out as the most significant cause of the recent increase in cases in South Africa,” said SAB in a statement on Tuesday, December 29.
“We judge this as not only unfair but that it disregards the more than 125 years of effort and dedication we have delivered together.”
SAB says its industry is one of the country’s largest socio-economic contributors, which supports over one-million livelihoods throughout its value chain.
The suspension of alcohol trading places the livelihoods of people in farming, retail, manufacturing, logistics and many SMMES at risk, according to SAB.
On Monday, December 28,President Cyril announced the ban on the sale of alcohol for on-site and off-site consumption would be reinstated as part of the regulations imposed by lockdown Alert Level 3.
Ramaphosa said the consumption of alcohol increases the chance of risky behaviour, which leads to the spreading of the disease and data shows that alcohol consumption is directly related to the number of trauma cases admitted to hospitals.
SAB says they are extremely concerned with the resurgence and spread of COVID-19, it respectfully disagrees with the alcohol ban, which took place with “minimal consultation”.
The company says they will “consider all options and pursue every possible alternative to protect the lives and livelihoods that depend on [them], in order to continue operating responsibly”.
The brewers say they have supported South Africa’s fight against the pandemic from the onset, by producing and donating hand sanitisers and supporting the hospitality industry.
“A firm belief of ours that needs to be reiterated to those consumers who choose to behave irresponsibly with our products is that our products are not for you.”
SAB said that if they are allowed to continue operations, they will generate the economic upliftment the country “desperately requires” during this time and it will continue to support South Africa’s fight against the pandemic.
Picture: Facebook/South African Breweries