Drinking spots are still shut

South Africa’s tavern and shebeen owners have called for the government to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol in seven days or risk collapsing the sector.

The alcohol industry has been pleading for the government to allow producers and traders to sell alcohol, following the latest trade restriction the government imposed last month. The ban, which followed two other restrictions last year, came after South Africa was hit by a second wave of Covid-19 infections. The government said it had put the ban in place to keep hospital beds ready for pandemic cases and free of alcohol related trauma cases. 

But the industry has been critical of the government’s decision, saying that it was putting jobs and livelihoods at risk and there are better solutions to deal with the infections, such as a stricter curfew and allowing off-site sales to take

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Beer bottles filling on the conveyor belt in the brewery factory.

  • South Africa’s alcohol industry employs more than 415 000 people.
  • Distell said it had reduced the number of its contract workers to 326, from 536, in January last year.
  • The country’s biggest beer maker, SAB, announced that it had suspended 550 temporary contract workers.

Liquor producers and companies along the value chain are beginning to reel under the effects of the ongoing alcohol sale ban, with some forecasting further cuts to already reduced number of contract workers, and others factoring in the possibility of retrenchments or preparing to turn off their taps for good. 

The third government-imposed ban on the sale of alcohol in December was implemented to keep hospital beds free of liquor-related trauma cases, but the move has come at a hefty cost for an industry that employs more than 415 000 people.

On Monday, Savanna

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The alcohol industry has asked for its excise tax to be deferred

  • Alcohol producers and traders have called for Covid-19 restrictions to be eased and for liquor trading to be allowed for off-site consumption, but at present face a blanket ban.
  • The latest request is the second from the industry, which applied for a deferment during the country’s second alcohol sales ban last year.
  • Alcohol producers and traders pay SARS about R2.5 billion a month in excise tax for imported and local products but the ban means that companies will have to pay excise tax for products that are sitting in their warehouses and can’t be sold due to the ban.

South Africa’s alcohol industry has asked for another deferment of its excise tax payment until the latest sales alcohol ban is lifted.

The industry’s request comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Monday night announcement that the ban on the

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