Liquor Traders Fear Possible Fourth Wave Restrictions

Alcohol businesses were among the most impacted in the previous Covid-19 strict restrictions. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has predicted the resurgence of Covid-19 Fourth wave in December.   

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South African Liquor Traders National Convener, Lucky Ntimane says they can’t afford another alcohol ban as the coronavirus fourth wave looms.

Ntimane further explained that as an alcohol business, they are concerned due to the previous harsh restrictions imposed against the alcohol industry.

He said the industry had to close down its business for 26 weeks without trading enduring four bans. The alcohol industry accuses the government of making exclusive decisions which affect their businesses without consulting them.

We've called on the government to engage with us...but no one in government will give us an ear.

He said there is fear among liquor traders that a ban on alcohol is imminent and said that the economy could not afford another ban, let alone further restrictions on alcohol sales.  

They are also calling on the president to talk to the alcohol industry to explore sustainable means of fighting COVID-19 without subjecting those dependent on the alcohol industry to poverty.

Ntimane says the industry lost over R20 billion due to the ban which affected the national fiscus by two-billion a month for the duration of the ban.

With the holiday season approaching, traders are pleading with government to exercise caution in responding to the fourth wave, said Ntimane.  

Reports say that the rise in Covid-19 infections is expected two weeks after the Christmas holiday rush or the New Year.

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