The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the lifting of alcohol trade restrictions and urges government to work with business to define a clear and detailed path to economic recovery.
“The government has finally shown its understanding for the sector’s dire plight by lifting the irrational restrictions on the sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption on weekends,” says Salba chairperson Sibani Mngadi.
The association notes that the restrictions had only encouraged the illicit alcohol industry and further damaged the legitimate enterprises struggling under the weight of irrational measures.
It has also damaged the supply chain.
“We need to curb further economic losses and start to return the economy to some level of normality. The alcohol bans have caused extensive job losses and income cuts within the alcohol value chain.
"Moreover, existing evidence indicated that the poor and those at the lower end of the earnings distribution had been disproportionately affected by the economic backlash of the pandemic, mainly among labourers, warehouse and retail staff,” says Salba CEO Kurt Moore.