The South African alcohol industry has once again voiced opposition to the continued ban on alcohol sales.
Trade association the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) says the unintended consequences, such as illicit liquor production and distribution, outweigh the pros.
Salba cites research done by private sector initiative the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade, which recommends that governments avoid prohibition laws as emergency response measures to protect people from the spread of Covid-19
The report calls for governments to ensure availability and access to legitimate products that conform with physical distancing objectives without inducing demand for illicit substitutes.
The report also urges against “emergency tax” increases on alcohol.
Moreover, the report calls on government to ramp up the implementation of enforcement measures to ensure that illicit trade activities caused by the pandemic do not become permanent features of the post-pandemic economy.
Meanwhile, the National Liquor Traders Council has again called on government to allow for the resumption of liquor sales, this from on or before February 1.
It has also urged government to provide Unemployment Insurance Fund Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme support, R20 000 in financial relief for taverns and a moratorium on the payment of liquor licence fee renewals.