‘We can’t afford another ban’: Beer body wants you to slow down on the booze this Black Friday

The Beer Association of SA has called on traders and consumers of alcohol to be responsible ahead of Black Friday weekend.

The association said given the rise in Covid-19 infections in some provinces over the past few days‚ all role players needed to do their bit to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“While the majority of South Africans do not consume alcohol at all‚ those who drink excessively place a heavy burden on our health system. It is therefore important that everybody recognises the need to trade responsibly and consume moderately as we head towards the festive season‚” the association said.

It warned that the liquor industry could not afford a return to a total ban on the sales of alcohol‚ citing that the strict measures cost the beer industry an estimated 7‚400 jobs‚ R14.2bn in lost sales revenue‚ and more than R7.4bn in lost taxes and excise duties.

It also said during previous lockdowns‚ 31% of craft breweries were forced to shut their doors permanently.

“We recognise Black Friday and the recent lifting of restrictions on the off-consumption trade of alcohol could assist many businesses to get back on their feet‚” it said.

“However‚ it is critical that both retailers and consumers continue to adhere to the level 1 lockdown regulations‚ most importantly to ensure the wearing of masks at all times‚ the continuous sanitising of hands and the enforcement of social distancing.

“We also call on consumers taking advantage of specials to please refrain from socialising in large groups and to drink in moderation.”

The association said it had engaged with retailers who have committed to ensuring that Covid-19 regulations were complied with during the anticipated busy period.

“Our members have continued to visit liquor outlets across the country to provide training and guidelines on social distancing and to check if they are complying with the lockdown regulations.

“We encourage outlets and consumers to use the click-and-collect platforms that have been developed by the industry so they can buy their alcohol via SMS and arrange to pick up their purchases at a designated time to avoid queues‚” it said.

Consumers are also urged to report all incidents of criminality linked to the sale of alcohol. This includes outlets that are not enforcing the wearing of masks and proper social distancing‚ as well as trading after curfew.

“The association‚ along with the rest of the alcohol industry‚ remains committed to working with government to address any contraventions of the lockdown regulations as they arise‚ and to ensure the safe and responsible trading and consumption of liquor as we head into the festive season.”


Source: ARENA Holdings.