President Cyril Ramaphosa Constitutional Court

President Cyril Ramaphosa is recovering from Covid-19. Photo: GCIS

Liquor industry welcome’s government decision not to ban booze

SA liquor traders have the latest announcement that alcohol sales will be allowed under the current lockdown level 1 restrictions.

President Cyril Ramaphosa Constitutional Court

President Cyril Ramaphosa is recovering from Covid-19. Photo: GCIS

The SA National Liquor Traders has welcomed the president’s announcement not to restrict or ban the sale of alcohol as the country deals with the new Covid-19 variant.

The organisation has also reiterated its intention to take a lead in the vaccination drive to encourage tavern patrons across the country to get the Covid-19 jab.

National Liquor Traders convenor Lucky Ntimane said the alcohol industry hadbeen the hardest hit when it comes to “lockdowns and unjustified bans which were not rooted in science nor common sense”. “Whilst we welcome the announcement by President Ramaphosa to maintain the status quo, we feel that humane interventions need to be considered in future to deal with Covid-19 bar subjecting the lives and livelihoods of those dependent on the alcohol industry to abject poverty,” Ntimane said.

“We call on government to engage with the alcohol industry so we can look at alternatives to alcohol bans precisely because bans on alcohol have not been proven to be an effective measure to containing Covid-19, if anything they have created a second pandemic – poverty,” he said.

Liquor traders to drive vaccination campaigns at taverns

Ntimane said that it was common knowledge that there is no link between Covid-19 and alcohol.

“We have always said, trying to ban alcohol to manage Covid-19 is akin to cutting one’s head off because they have a headache. This doesn’t achieve anything but the destruction of a sector which comprises of 34 500 taverns and shebeen permit holders and account for over 250 000 workers,” he said.

“Liquor traders are committed to supporting government’s efforts to fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic through vaccination and promotion of non-pharmaceutical interventions,” he said.

Ntimane said liquor traders would continue to host tavern rallies across the country, where vaccinations would be administered as the industry wanted to take the lead in the fight against this pandemic. He said liquor traders would continue to encourage patrons to vaccinate as this was a scientifically proven method to fight against Covid-19. “We will continue to encourage men, who make up the majority our patrons, to vaccinate as we all seek a faster and more sustainable way out this pandemic so we can return to our normal lives,” Ntimane said.