The beer industry has called for the ban on the sale of alcohol to be lifted so legal businesses can operate to prevent further damage to the industry and the millions of livelihoods it supports.
The Beer Association of SA (Basa) said Tuesday it, along with the Liquor Traders Association of SA and the wine industry association Vinpro, had written to Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel asking for an urgent meeting to review the devastating effects of the ban The organizations also want to discuss alternative interventions that could save lives and livelihoods during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Basa, to which the Craft Brewers Association, Heineken SA and SA Breweries said it was estimated the recent four-week ban had put 9,206 jobs in the alcohol industry at risk, with a possible loss of 10.2 billion ren in taxes and consumables also tax.
The three previous bans resulted in a loss of 7,400. Jobs in the beer industry alone, R14.2 billion in sales and a loss of more than R7.8 billion in taxes and excise duties.
Basa said it was inundated with stories of craft brewers whose businesses were devastated by the recent ban as they slowly recovered from the last three bans on their feet.
One of those affected was Aegir Project Brewery in Noordhoek, which was founded in 2015 and before the lockdown and ban on alcohol sales flourished.
Basa said the brewery had expanded its workforce from 12 to 60 and opened a second restaurant in Constantia, Cape Town. As a result of the bans, the new restaurant was permanently closed, six people became unemployed.
Since then, a further 12 employees have been laid off and the remaining employees have had to work on short-time and short-time pay.
The owner of the Aegir Project, Rory Lancellas, said he had not quintupled the compliment for employees but identified the most vulnerable employees – with families and children – so he could prioritize their income over others.
” We can’t hold out much longer. I have children too. It’s very hard to watch families do it, ”said Lancellas.
Another ailing business was the Airport Craft Breweries, which opened in 2014 in the domestic airport and in the arrivals hall of OR Tambo International Airport.
Before the lockdown, just over 100 people were employed. More than half of them lost their jobs as a result of the bans.
Basa said they and thousands of others would not survive an ongoing alcohol ban.
Many South Africans said alcohol through the illegal industry .
Basa said the mass looting of liquor and vendors last week in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng helped fuel the illegal sale of alcohol even further, making the ban even more nonsensical.