South African Breweries (SAB) has called on tavern owners, restaurants, bars, liquor outlets and the South African public to follow strict Covid-19 protocols and adhere to Level 2 regulations, in order to protect lives and support the 1.1 million livelihoods that depend on a healthy and functioning alcohol industry.
The warnings are clear and unambiguous -– such as compliance with the new operating hours for taverns, bars and restaurants as well as restrictions on retail outlet trading times. Should establishments have their alcohol license revoked for any lawful reason including the contravention of any applicable current covid-19 Regulations, SAB will not be legally allowed to sell further alcohol to them.”
The South African Government has opened up the economy and lifted the alcohol ban under very strict conditions, which will need to be adhered to in order to ensure that Covid-19 risks are safeguarded against. These conditions include, alcohol being permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only until 10pm, while liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.
“The 1 million livelihoods our industry supports simply cannot afford further restrictions on the sale of alcohol, as a result of non-compliance with level 2 regulations and irresponsible consumption. For many of our value chain partners who are struggling to get back on their feet, another ban or increased regulations could mean an end of their business and jeopardise the livelihoods of their employees,” said Zoleka Lisa, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at SAB.
SAB fully supports the tavern and liquor outlet pledge to ensure that establishments that sell alcohol will take responsibility for their customers. SAB and its industry partners have provided taverns and restaurants with safety equipment as well as risk mitigation support and educational materials.
“At SAB, we maintain that we want every experience with our beers to be a positive one, and this means taking a firm stance against harmful or irresponsible drinking,” said Lisa.
Our SAB sales force along with industry partners will also be conducting regular checks to ensure on premise consumption follows strict COVID-19 protocols. Meanwhile, tavern owners have committed to an industry charter that pledges not to serve alcohol to people who have already had too much to drink, to promote no drinking and driving/walking messaging, and to follow strict Covid-19 safety regulations.
“We are still very much in the midst of a health pandemic and we all need to not drink and drive in order to preserve all the livelihoods supported by the alcohol industry. SAB understands the hard work ahead in working together in a collaborative approach with our stakeholders and value chain to ensure we rebuild the economy. We must ensure that everyone follows and adheres to government guidelines in order for us to ensure that we do not risk more lives and livelihoods,” said Lisa.
Lisa concludes, “Let us be responsible, together. Be brave and act against behaviour from traders, bars and restaurants that contravenes level 2 regulations by reporting incidents of criminality linked to the sale and consumption on 0800 014 858. This hotline is administered by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa who will liaise with law enforcement on cases reported. The lives and livelihoods of your fellow South Africans depend on it.”