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Alcohol Associations Speak Out After Sale Ban

Associations representing the alcohol industry are arguing that the new ban on liquor sales is not the answer to curbing COVID-19 infections.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the ban was back with immediate effect.

He said that alcohol abuse placed massive pressure on the country’s hospitals since the initial ban was lifted in June.

South African Liquor Brand Owners’ Association CEO Kurt Moore said that further restrictions on sales would have a disastrous economic impact.

He said that it could also increase the risk of transmission.

“As an industry, we are deeply concerned about the surge of COVID-19 infections, however, any additional restriction on sales, including an outright ban, shorter trading hours or further restrictions on trading, would likely increase panic buying and overcrowding at retail outlets.”

Beer Association of South Africa CEO Patricia Pillay said that the industry was committed to working with government to find solutions that prioritised lives and safeguarded livelihoods.

“We are all in this fight together and need to deal with the root causes of the problem of binge drinking and drinking and driving. Imposing further restrictions on the sale of alcohol will not deal with the problem we have even pre-COVID.”

The industry said that further restricting the legal trade of alcohol would fuel the growth in the illicit liquor market.