South Africa

An end to the alcohol ban? Liquor giants ask for relief following riots | Muhabarishaji News

A collective of liquor industry giants have united, in a bid to overturn the ongoing alcohol ban in Mzansi. The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA), along with the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa (LTASA) and VINPRO, are demanding that Trade Minister Ebrahim Patel hears their case against the prohibition laws.

Bid to overturn the alcohol ban launched

South Africa entered its fourth alcohol ban last month, when the country was placed back under Level 4 restrictions. However, those regulations were undermined relentlessly by a spate of protests at Nkandla, and the devastating looting spree that gripped South Africa last week. The behemoths of booze now hope the riots will work in their favour.

That’s because scores of liquor stores were targeted by looters, and the chances of these businesses getting back on their feet once the alcohol ban is lifted by the government are now diminished. BASA and its supporters argue that an immediate end to these liquor limits will help avoid a total collapse of the booze industry in South Africa.

“Following the wave of violence and destruction in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, which saw 161 liquor outlets and distribution centres looted and damaged, the beer industry urgently calls for the alcohol ban to be lifted so that legal businesses can operate, to avoid a possible collapse of the industry and the million livelihoods it supports”

“We have written to Minister Ebrahim Patel requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the devastating impact of the ban and alternative interventions that could save both lives and livelihoods during the Covid-19 pandemic.” | BASA statement

Liquor giants aim for ‘riot relief’ from government

The latest rojections paint an increasingly gloomy picture. Thousands of breadwinners and their families could be left without any form of income whatsoever, should the total shutdown of alcohol extend into August. According to BASA:

  • Alcohol ban #4 has put an estimated 9 200 jobs at risk this time around.
  • Over R10 billion in taxable income has been missed.
  • The illegal liquor industry, already worth an estimated R20 billion, will have benefitted immensely from the riots.
  • With illicit booze now in circulation, BASA argue that keeping resrictions on alcohol is now ‘nonsensical’.
  • The top traders say that many businesses ‘will not survive’ if the alcohol ban is extended further.

“The mass looting of liquor outlets and distributors last week in both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has served to boost the illegal sale of alcohol even further, making the current ban even more nonsensical. These businesses, as well as thousands of other individuals, will simply not survive a continued alcohol ban.”

BASA statement

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