President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the alcohol ban which has been in place for the past month as the country moves to lockdown level 3.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the alcohol ban that has been in place since 27 June as the country moves from adjusted alert level 4 to adjusted alert level 3.
Ramaphosa was addressing the country about developments on the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the briefing, Ramaphosa said non-essential establishments like restaurants, taverns, bars and fitness centres may be opened.
“Sale of alcohol from retail outlets for offsite consumption will be allowed from 10:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Thursday. Onsite permission will be permitted for up to 20:00 as per licensed conditions.
The alcohol ban has devastated booze businesses over the last 16 months or so. Rico Basson, Vinpro’s managing director, says that current restrictions cannot last for one day longer.
“The majority of South African wineries are small to medium enterprises who rely strongly on direct sales in the local market and through wine tourism including restaurants and tasting rooms. Their revenue stream has been cut off and we will see more business closures, pay cut and job losses should the ban continue past 25 July 2021.”
The National Liquor Traders (NLT) also called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the ban on alcohol and to set our country towards economic recovery without delay.
“The latest 4-week alcohol ban that the taverns and the broader alcohol industry have been subjected to has been the harshest yet, over and above the 20 weeks of non-trading that we had to endure with the 3 previous bans combined. We have yet to see the evidence that the decisions to ban alcohol were based on science or even common sense,” NLT Convener, Lucky Ntimane said.
“We anticipate that more than 10 000 taverns will not be able to open their doors when the ban on alcohol is finally lifted owing to depleted savings and this being a hand to mouth business enterprise. Over 200 000 livelihoods of those that are dependent on the tavern sector have had to endure 4 weeks without knowing how to support their families. Poverty has become a real pandemic for liquor traders.”
Ntimane said that since the bans on alcohol had commenced, taverns had not received any financial support or relief in any form from the government.
READ: Alcohol ban: Pick n Pay CEO now calls for ban to be lifted as stores open