Liquor industry 'on its knees' as alcohol sales banned again

The National Liquor Traders group said it was deeply concerned by the government’s latest decision to enforce an alcohol ban on the country as part of the level 4 lockdown regulations.

Alcohol is again restricted, as SA moves to a level 4 lockdown from Monday June 28 2021.
Alcohol is again restricted, as SA moves to a level 4 lockdown from Monday June 28 2021.
Image: 123RF/stockfotocz

The National Liquor Traders (NLT) lobby group says the industry is on its knees.

The industry body said it was deeply concerned by government’s latest decision to enforce an alcohol ban on the country as part of the level 4 lockdown regulations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has, for the fourth time since lockdown was first declared, banned the sale of alcohol both for on-site and off-site consumption.

“As an industry, we are on our knees. We have suffered many months over the past year when our members could not earn a living,” said Lucky Ntimane from National Liquor Traders in a statement.

“We have engaged with our members and government where we conveyed our concern regarding the decision to ban alcohol for 14 days and again expressed our commitment to work together and observe the regulations. We continue to be proactive in our harm-reduction initiatives to improve behaviour so we can continue to trade safely and protect our livelihoods. We have strict Covid-19 protocols in place to ensure trading at taverns can be done in a safe environment,” the organisation said.

The NLT said it had made an urgent call to the government to reassess the alcohol ban at the end of the 14-day period as it prevents their members from earning a living.

“We ask that the government give us regulatory certainty so that our members know when they will be able to trade again. Our taverns are a vital part of our communities’ economies, supporting many lives,” said the NLT.

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