Beer association lobbies president to #SaveBeer from lockdown
Using the hashtag #SaveBeer, the Beer Association of SA (Basa) has put forward proposals to government to save the industry during the lockdown period.
While the association says it fully supports the national lockdown, it is deeply concerned about the number of retrenchments resulting from restrictions on the alcohol trade.
Basa, along with other liquor associations, has now made submissions to President Cyril Ramaphosa and ministers on its proposals. These include:
- Allowing licensed off-consumption outlets to sell beer subject to strict social distancing requirements and within restricted hours of trade.
- Allowing licensed on-consumption outlets to be granted a special dispensation to operate strictly as off-consumption outlets subject to the strict social distancing requirements and within restricted hours of trade. This includes licensed taverns to support the township economy.
- Restriction on volumes sold per consumer to avoid irresponsible consumption.
- Placing hand sanitisers at outlets to ensure good hygiene practices.
- Allowing for online ordering and delivery of beer with strict quantity controls in place
- Restricted hours of trade: Bteween 9am and 6pm on weekdays; and between 9am and 4pm on Saturdays; and no sales on Sundays and public holidays.
The association represents the Craft Brewers Association, Heineken South Africa and South African Breweries.
“As an industry we are actively supporting the government’s efforts to ‘flatten the curve’ in partnership with both national and provincial government, for example by contributing to the manufacturing and distribution of hand sanitisers among other initiatives,” Basa told DispatchLIVE on Saturday.
“In the last 15 days we have had news of many beer outlets shutting their doors with several people being retrenched. Within this industry that employs close to 250,000 people, these are many lives that are now being placed at risk.
“Secondary industries are also impacted by the shutdown including glass and bottle manufacturers, print and design companies, transportation, retailers, equipment manufacturers, electricians, plumbers, farmers and many more.”
Basa said crime had also increased with businesses and depots being looted.
“Our messaging to our members and traders, which includes big and small businesses, craft brewers and taverners has been to respect the lockdown and shut all trade and endure through the 21 days.
“They have fully supported us in this call and despite pressure from their customers, did not operate despite the financial hardships experienced. However, with the further 14-day extension now a reality, their livelihoods are at serious risk.”
Basa said it had made a commitment to work with police and other law enforcement agencies to take “swift action” against any traders who did not comply with the regulations.
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