Alcohol industry breathes sigh of relief at partial Easter weekend sales ban

The alcohol industry has welcomed the implementation of a partial ban on alcohol sales over the Easter weekend. The industry has lost around R36 billion in sales revenue over the last year. Keeping onsite consumption open over the long weekend will help boost revenue in the hospitality and tourism sector, […]

  • The alcohol industry has welcomed the implementation of a partial ban on alcohol sales over the Easter weekend.
  • The industry has lost around R36 billion in sales revenue over the last year.
  • Keeping onsite consumption open over the long weekend will help boost revenue in the hospitality and tourism sector, the industry says.

The alcohol industry has applauded the government’s decision to implement a partial ban against alcohol sales over the Easter weekend, instead of a complete ban.

It says R36 billion in sales revenue has already been lost over the last year.

During an address on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would stay on a Level 1 lockdown over Easter but that alcohol sales would be restricted to onsite venues for the long weekend.

The South African Liquor Brand owners Association (Salba) welcomed the move to avoid a total ban, which was put into place on three occasions over the past 12 months.

FULL SPEECH | Level 1 lockdown remains, beaches are open and restrictions on alcohol sales

The bans have amounted to 19 weeks of lost trading days, leading to a R36 billion loss in sales revenue for the industry and a R29 billion loss in tax revenue loss for the government, the Salba said in a statement.

Salba chairperson Sibani Mngadi said it was important to improve consultation levels between the government and the alcohol industry with the common objectives of limiting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and turning around the South African economic trajectory towards a growth path.

“The decision to keep the on-consumption trading environment open under the licence conditions and limitations of the curfew is very much welcome. Taverns, bars, restaurants are a critical part of the tourism business which we need to assist to recover,” said Mngadi.

“There is a need for more engagement with the government to better understand the thinking that informs restrictions of the off-consumption channel, which has been limited to four days a week [of] trade at various stages of the lockdown.”

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