Level 3 liquor laws will lead to chaos, say retailers

A car guard helps pack the car of a last minute alcohol buyer at Makro in Edenvale, 26 March 2020. Picture: Neil McCartney

The industry body says the heavily restricted liquor sales hours under Level 3 of the lockdown will not achieve the desired results.

A liquor industry spokesperson said government regulations for the sale of alcohol were a cocktail for chaos.

It’s been reported by Business Live that regulations for Level 3 liquor sales may only take place from Monday to Wednesday between 8am and noon.

The South African Liquor Traders Association said this was a recipe for crowding and possibly violence.

The association represents owners or operators of more than 1,400 retail and wholesale liquor stores.

Spokesperson Sean Robinson told Cape Talk radio: “Those very restrictive hours are going to significantly concentrate demand into very few hours just three days a week.

“Our very big concern is that this is going to lead to excessive queuing and crowding outside liquor stores and make social distancing almost impossible to ensure.

“It’s going to lead to a lot of anxiety and frustration, and hopefully not, violence and looting at certain stores (sic),” he said.

The association has approached the government with a proposal suggesting trading between 9am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 4pm on Saturday.

They feel this would allow people more time, enable social distancing and thus reduce the chances of infection.

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