Prove that booze ban curbs infections: Beer industry to file PAIA application to coronavirus council
The Beer Association of South Africa (Basa) says it will submit an urgent Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) application to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to obtain the data and evidence on which it based its decision to extend the fourth alcohol ban for another two weeks.
“In all our discussions with government, it has been acknowledged that the main driver of infections is large gatherings and the failure to observe mask wearing and social distancing protocols,” said the organisation.
“We have also not been provided with the data showing the link between alcohol and increased hospital admissions, despite requesting this from government on numerous occasions.”
The beer industry, along with the broader alcohol sector, made a number of proposals to NatJoints, including allowing all licensed establishments to be able to sell alcohol for off-consumption under adjusted alert level 4. It said this would allow these businesses to earn an income, would stop citizens from buying from the flourishing illicit market, while also ensuring they consume alcohol in the safety of their homes.
The organisation argues that the only way to overcome the pandemic and prevent Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths is the rollout of a mass vaccination programme.
Basa noted the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night that Covid-19 TERS funding would be extended to industries affected by the adjusted alert level 4 lockdown.
“We eagerly await the details of this assistance, as businesses within the beer industry have received zero financial assistance since the start of the lockdown in March last year.”