NATIONAL NEWS - It is no secret that the ban on alcohol sales is wreaking havoc in the sector and set to condemn thousands of livelihoods into poverty, while the future of taverns is in doubt.
Lucky Ntimane, the convener of the Liquor Trader Formations says the third ban seems to be the surest way yet that a death knell has indeed been pronounced on the tavern sector.
“We do not see how we can recover or let alone come back from this ban,” Ntimane says.
“Our call to the President is to immediately convene a meeting with the alcohol industry with a view to unbanning alcohol and allow normalcy to return so the lives and livelihoods of the liquor traders, their families and the 250 000 workers dependent on the tavern sector.
"We believe that it is through a collaborative effort with government that innovative ways to support the health sector and our heroes, frontline workers could be found that a balance is struck that will ensure that livelihoods are preserved and lives are saved as move forward as a country.”
“We are equally concerned that the alcohol ban is having a negative impact on the country and further dent its image as an investment destination. The withdrawal of R2,5 billion worth of investment into the country by South African Breweries parent company AB InBev and the announcement by Consol that it is putting on hold R1,5 billion worth of investment has major implications on future growth prospects of the alcohol industry and its value chain.
"The alcohol industry has already lost an estimated R25 billion due to the 3 bans. The industry has always been known to create and sustain livelihoods - all 1 million of them.”
- Allow for the resumption of alcohol sales with immediate effect, primarily off consumption (takeaways)
- Support for taverns and shebeen permit holders by means of a financial assistance to the value of R20 000 per outlet
- Moratorium on liquor licence fees payable for a period not less than a year
He said they fully support efforts undertaken by SAB and the alcohol industry in general to assert their rights to finding a solution that will allow for the resumption of alcohol sales.
“As liquor traders we have always supported government's efforts to fight the pandemic and continue to do so through our industry funded tavern compliance programme which seeks to educate liquor traders on best practices for complying with Covid-19 regulations.
We continue to support and engage in societal issues that bedevil our country through our GBV initiative “Tavern Dialogues on GBV” which positions liquor traders as champions in the fight against gender based violence.
We highlight this to remedy the narrative that seeks to positions liquor traders as being irresponsible and not alive to the realities facing the country. The opposite couldn't be truer.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'