The alcohol industry has acted sternly, canceling its supplies to 44 alcohol outlets in the Western Cape for blatantly ignoring covid-19 and liquor trading regulations.
Despite repeated warnings from both the alcohol industry and government, some traders have been found guilty of disobeying gazetted regulations surrounding alcohol trade and consumption.
According to a joint press statement issued by the alcohol industry, it has informed guilty outlets in writing of their decision to halt supplies. This follows indications that unconcerned traders were caught defying regulations and that the Western Cape Liquor Authority revoked their licenses
These outlets have been informed that they will only be stocked up once their licenses have been reinstated by the provincial Liquor Authority.
Underlining the seriousness of the matter, Kurt Moore, the CEO of the South African Liquor Brandowners Association said, “The alcohol industry has taken a firm position on this: if a trader fails to comply with the regulations and loses their licence, collectively we have agreed that we will stop servicing and supplying them.”
As per the new covid-19 lockdown regulations gazetted and signed by cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the sale of alcohol is now permitted from Mondays to Fridays. However, weekends are still off-limits.
Furthermore, alcohol can also be sold for off-site consumption by registered retailers only from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 and 17:00. The consumption and sale of alcohol is permitted at restaurants and bars until the curfew comes into effect at 22:00.
Beer Association of South Africa’s CEO Patricia Pillay said, “We are committed to continuing to work closely with the Government and traders to ensure compliance with the gazetted provisions.”
She added, “These rules include making sure they never exceed more than 50% of capacity in their outlets, to insist on face masks, to obey the stated opening hours and to not sell to visibly intoxicated customers, minors, or pregnant women.”
The alcohol industry in August pledged R150 million for direct harm reduction interventions and initiatives over the next year. This will be done to assist the government in dealing with the health and social burden of alcohol misuse.
Furthermore, consumers and traders have been urged to make use of a dedicated hotline to report anyone in breach of the regulations. Consumers can call the Consumer Goods Council hotline on 0800 014 856 to report any violation of the regulations.