Role players in the hard-hit alcoholic beverage sector are anxiously waiting to see whether President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce stricter lockdown regulations for the Easter long weekend. With the possibility of another so-called ‘family meeting’ ahead of the Easter break expected tonight, the liquor industry is anxious that another liquor ban will be imposed. The industry has already lost over R36.3 billion in revenue due to the previous alcohol bans since March 2020.
The Liquor Traders Association said that it was aware that it needed to play its part in efforts to circumvent a potential third wave of COVID-19 infections, which could be driven by an Easter Weekend of parties.
The National convener Lucky Ntimane said that they were open to reducing their trading hours and days, however, another outright ban would not be sustainable.
“The majority of our liquor traders, 70% of which are small to medium enterprises, we are really struggling to survive hence the talk of a ban as a way for government to deal with the COVID-19 third wave worries us.”
Ntimane continued saying that the onus remained on the public to ensure they remained compliant and consumed liquor responsibly by not contributing to an increase in alcohol-related trauma.