Liquor traders want an urgent meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa explore solutions to their industry as a third Covid-19 wave looms.
In a letter to the the President, National Liquor Traders Council convener Lucky Ntimane asked for consultation with his sector before any decisions are made which would impact their businesses.
This as the sector has been hit hard by repeated alcohol bans and restrictions since lockdown was implemented over a year ago.
“Our purpose is to find sustainable solutions and support government efforts to combat the pandemic in every way possible,” Ntimane said.
Just last week, the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in SA (Saapa SA) said “tough decisions” now will the country help later. They called for a restriction on alcohol sales before the third wave becomes an official reality.
Ntimane said they wanted government to engage with their industry to “ensure that any decision taken is guided by scientific evidence”.
“In our view and as we have always maintained, the rise in Covid-19 infections is a much bigger societal challenge that requires all of us as – business, civil society and government to work together to find solutions.”
The industry has challenged government to outline early it plans on restrictions of alcohol sales.
“Where restrictions in economic activity are required, these should be clearly explained with clear end dates,” said Ntimane.
“This allows business to plan rather than facing open ended disruptions which is significantly more difficult to manage and leads to job losses. setting a clear criteria upon which restrictions would be lifted is vital.”