NATIONAL NEWS - The Eastern Cape government and representatives from the alcohol industry have committed to working together to curb the rise in Covid-19 cases in the province.
This follows a Saturday meeting between representatives of the South African alcohol industry with those from the Eastern Cape government.
The resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the province, particularly in the Nelson Mandela Metro and Sarah Baartman district, was discussed at the meeting.
Concerns were raised that some alcohol outlets were not complying with the regulations of the Liquor Act as well Covid-19 Level 1 lockdown regulations and that these outlets were contributing to the increase in the number of infections and the resultant pressure on the health system.
“The alcohol industry committed to train and deploy 80 community patrollers in eight police stations (10 patrollers per station) in the Covid-19 hotspots areas in the province. Working together with the SAPS and community policing forums, the patrollers will ensure compliance with the regulations in alcohol outlets in the catchment areas of the selected police stations.
“Outlets found to be violating the regulations will be reported to the SAPS and the Eastern Cape Liquor Board for further investigation and adjudication.
“Chairman of the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA) Sibani Mngadi urged the Liquor Authority to act swiftly in reviewing licence conditions of outlets found to be violating the Liquor Act and Covid-19 Lockdown Level 1 regulations.”
“We have agreed with Liquor Authorities in all provinces, including the Eastern Cape that they would alert us of any decision to review a licence of an outlet,” said Mngadi.
“Where such a decision is taken, as manufacturers, we will immediately stop servicing and supplying that outlet,” he added.
Convener of the Liquor Traders Formations Lucky Ntimane urged alcohol traders in the province to comply with the regulations to protect their businesses and livelihoods in the industry.
Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu