BUSINESS NEWS - The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) has welcomed the lifting of restrictions on the sale of alcohol, which enables liquor outlets to return to normal trading hours.
This comes after President Cyril President Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that normal trading hours for alcohol sales would resume, including weekend sales.
Licensed outlets were allowed to sell alcohol for home consumption on weekdays from 9am to 5pm since the start of level 1 on 21 September 2020
In a statement, BASA chief executive Patricia Pillay highlighted the devastating impact on small businesses, including craft breweries, due to the restrictions.
“As a result of continued lockdown restrictions, 15% of craft breweries have been forced to close down over the past few months.
“Many breweries that have managed to stay open have been forced to retrench staff, resulting in hundreds of job losses across the sector.
“We also know that the restrictions were not successful in stopping off-site alcohol sales over weekends in unlicensed establishments.
“Instead, the trade in alcohol shifted to the illicit market, which has continued to trade seven days a week resulting in billions of rands in tax revenue being lost.”
Pillay said the decision would help to safeguard jobs, while also assisting in the survival of small businesses.
“The lifting of the restrictions will therefore have a positive impact when it comes to safeguarding jobs and small businesses as well as bringing in much needed tax revenue into the fiscus. It is going to help us to recover as people will be going back to their normal hours of work.”
She further said that the beer industry would continue highlighting the importance of responsible and moderate alcohol consumption, to minimise the spread of Covid-19, as the country edges closer to the festive season.
“Our members are implementing a number of programmes to assist outlets across the country to trade responsibly and safely.
“We call on all liquor outlets and establishments to continue playing their part by enforcing the wearing of masks and social distancing in their establishments.
“We also call on consumers to drink in moderation and continue taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from Covid-19,” she said.