South Africa’s formal and informal drinking establishments were banned from selling alcohol for 19 weeks.
South Africa’s alcohol industry is estimated to have lost R36.3 billion in retail sales revenues in the on again off liquor bans between 2020, when the lockdown began, and when the latest one ended this month, according to a report.
It is also estimated that the loss of sales has put more than 200 000 jobs at risk across the formal and informal sectors.
The bans, which began with the hard lockdown last year, have been a source of contention for consumers, producers and traders. Government has justified its decision to halt alcohol sales as a means to prevent an influx of trauma cases at hospitals and to have beds available for Covid-19 patients.
Dry throats were a big issue for consumers, while the industry lamented revenue and job losses. In an alcohol industry