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Liquor industry lobbies for permission to drink bought alcohol at home under eased lockdown

The liquor industry is lobbying for people to be allowed to drink alcohol at home. File photo.
The liquor industry is lobbying for people to be allowed to drink alcohol at home. File photo.
Image: 123RF/Vladislavs Gorniks

An umbrella body representing the liquor industry is lobbying for alcohol to be sold so it can be consumed at home during the eased lockdown period.

The SA Liquor Brand owners Association (Salba), which represents  manufactures and distributors in the liquor industry, said on Friday it was in talks with government to pursue off-site consumption.

Salba spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said they were awaiting further communication from the government.

“We will await the details on what level four means for us. We plan to take the opportunity to apply for operation. We want the government to consider opening the export side of the business, a significant part of the liquor industry.

“We don’t think exporting to other countries is a major risk to SA’s response to the pandemic. The industry is awaiting details around considerations for people to get a chance to buy alcohol and drink at home,” Mngadi said.

The sale and consumption of alcohol have been banned for the entire period of the Covid-19 hard lockdown.

Mngadi said if they could not trade or export in the near future, they would appeal the decision and make formal submissions.

In terms of a consideration to have excise tax delayed, the government has responded.

“The only positive thing we got is that our excise checks will be delayed for [around] three months, so it does lift a burden from the industry. I can’t project on the risk of job losses,” Mngadi said.

The industry awaits news about their request to have the export trade ban lifted and the legal consumption of alcohol at home.

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