Government's fault or 'bullying' — Eight reactions to SAB suspending 550 employee contracts

DA leader John Steenhuisen has blamed government for 550 job loses at SA Breweries.
DA leader John Steenhuisen has blamed government for 550 job loses at SA Breweries.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

DA leader John Steenhuisen was one of many who reacted to the news that SA Breweries (SAB) has suspended the contracts of more than 500 temporary workers due to the ongoing ban on the sales and distribution of alcohol.

At the weekend, SAB told BusinessLIVE the contracts of 550 temporary workers were suspended with immediate effect while the ban continues.

Affected staff received their last payment on Friday and will receive no income during the suspension of their contracts, including from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) as they are contract workers.

“The third alcohol ban resulted in reduced demand for temporary workers’ skills. This is no fault of their own but rather a result of the current operating environment,” said SAB vice-president of corporate affairs Zoleka Lisa.

“We realise the impact this decision will have on 550 families who will sadly have to go without because of the uncertainty of the alcohol ban.”

The move comes  a week after SAB cancelled a further R2.5bn investment reserved for this year.

SAB is the maker of Carling Black Label and Castle Lite beer, among other alcoholic beverages.

It first cancelled R2.5bn of planned expenditure after a second alcohol ban was imposed last year.

The cancelled investments were for upgrades to operating facilities, product innovation and new equipment at selected plants.

550 more families are losing incomes

Reacting to the news of contracts being suspended, Steenhuisen said the move was the government’s fault.

“Absolutely terrible that 550 more families are losing their income because the government’s spectacularly incompetent fumbling of vaccine acquisition leaves job-destroying, growth-killing lockdowns and bans as the only tool they have,” he said.

On social media, many users said the ban needs to be lifted before it is too late to save the economy.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:

‘Lift the ban before it’s too late’

‘SAB is sending a message to government’

‘SAB is tired of lobbying and playing nice

‘Consumers of alcohol should take the blame for these job losses

‘More people unemployed

‘Shouldnt we have a better plan without killing the economy?

‘They will be forced to join Sassa queues

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