The Liquor Traders Formation, which represents township-based liquor traders including taverns, has requested an urgent meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss ending the third alcohol sales ban currently in place.
“Our call to the President is to immediately convene a meeting with the alcohol industry with a view to unbanning alcohol and allow normalcy to return to the lives and livelihoods of the liquor traders, their families and the 250,000 workers dependent on the tavern sector can resume.
"We believe that it is through a collaborative effort with government that innovative ways to support the health sector and our heroes, frontline workers could be found that a balance is struck that will ensure that livelihoods are preserved and lives are saved as move forward as a country," said Lucky Ntimane, convener of the Liquor Traders Formation.
The South African government's decision to extend the alcohol ban has led the alcohol industry to apply for a deferment of the payment of excise tax payments until the ban is lifted...
12 Jan 2021
Ntimane added, “We are equally concerned that the alcohol ban is having a negative impact on the country and will further dent its image as an investment destination. The withdrawal of R2,5bn worth of investment into the country by South African Breweries parent company AB InBev and the announcement by Consol that it is putting on hold R1,5bn worth of investment has a major implication on the future growth prospects of the alcohol industry and its value chain and even more detrimental to the job preservation and creation agenda espoused by the President.
"The alcohol industry has already lost an estimated R25bn and counting due to the three bans it had to endure and if status quo remains we are on course to shed a record number of jobs in a sector that has always been known to create and sustain livelihoods – all 1 million of them."
Requests for assistance
In an email penned by the Liquor Traders Formation and the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa (LTASA), the coalition made a number of requests to help cushion the financial impact of the currently alcohol ban. These include:
• The resumption of alcohol sales for off-consumption
• Ongoing UIF TERS support whilst the ban is in place
• Assistance with procuring rental relief
• Compensation for stock that expires
• A tavern financial relief package that entails payment of R20,000 for taverns and shebeen permit holders
Liquor traders from the tavern sector are appealing to the government to allow off-premise alcohol sales to resume on 16 January, to help protect the 250,000 jobs in the sector and safeguard livelihoods.
6 Jan 2021
Death knell for taverners
The Liquor Traders Formation described the third ban as a 'death knell' for the tavern sector, and highlighted its continued commitment to helping control the spread of Covid-19.
"As liquor traders we have always supported government's efforts to fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to do so through our industry-funded tavern compliance programme which seeks to educate liquor traders on best practices for complying with Covid-19 regulations and by extension encourage consumers to observe and practice Covid-19 compliance protocols in their communities.
"We continue to support and engage in societal issues that bedevil our country through our GBV initiative called Tavern Dialogues on GBV which positions liquor traders as champions in the fight against gender-based violence. We highlight this to remedy the narrative that seeks to position liquor traders as being irresponsible and not alive to the realities facing the country. The opposite couldn't be truer," said the Liquor Traders Formation.