Restaurant and tavern owners are livid after president Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Sunday night while alcohol groups are reportedly considering to take legal action against the booze ban decision that has now taken place for the fourth time in nearly 15 months, according to EWN and Fin24 respectively.
“A decision has been made, that will have dire consequences for our members without us being given an opportunity to propose alternative solutions. We will be deprived of an income without a financial safety net,” said National Liquid Traders Council’s Lucky Ntimane, who expressed disappointment by the ban on alcohol.
In the same vein, the South African Alcohol Policy Alliance regards the ban on offsite alcohol consumption as an unnecessary act, EWN reports.
According to BusinessTech, the Beer Association of South Africa, comprising the Craft Brewers Association (BASA), Heineken South Africa and South African Breweries explained that a complete ban on alcohol is not something the economy can afford.
“Our country does not have the option of another hard lockdown, including another alcohol ban. While South Africa’s slow start to its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out is regrettable, imposing further restrictions that will lead to further job losses and bankruptcies is not the answer.
“The only way out of this terrible situation is the implementation of sensible and balanced restrictions and a full-scale vaccination programme. Business cannot be expected to pay the cost for the government’s failings in this regard.
“Another ban will offer a severe blow to thousands of small businesses still trying to get back on their feet from the previous bans, resulting in even more job losses, business closures and loss in revenue for the national fiscus. This is true for all producers, but most especially for small brewers who are currently barely surviving,” it said.
“We urge National Government to implement interventions that save lives without sacrificing livelihoods as we fight the third wave over the coming weeks,” BASA said.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Restaurants Association of South Africa (RASA), Wendy Alberts raised concerns about job losses during this lockdown period as reported by EWN, adding: “We gave government a year and more time to prepare this country. And we are again the industry detonated, it is absolutely shocking.”