The alcohol industry is in full support of the enforcement actions undertaken by the SAPS on Saturday night at venues which were not abiding by the Covid-19 restrictions relating to the curfew, social distancing and the wearing of masks.
Chairperson of the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA) Sibani Mngadi said, “The alcohol industry firmly supports the enforcement of the Covid-19 regulations. If establishments breaking the law lose their licence, collectively, we have agreed that we will immediately stop servicing and supplying them.”
The industry has seen the devastating impact of the ban on the value chain. It has put in place responsible practices and forms of behaviour to trade responsibly to ensure we protect the livelihoods of many thousands of people across the industry’s value chain.
“We are committed to continuing to work closely with the government and traders to ensure compliance with the gazetted provisions,” he said. “These rules include making sure that outlets do not allow in patrons at more than 50% of the capacity of the venue. They need to insist on wearing of facemasks and to obey the stated trading hours.”
The alcohol industry has provided a hotline for traders and customers to report any breach of the regulations. Mngadi also urged consumers to call the Consumer Goods Council hotline on 0800 014 856 to report any violation of the regulations. The tip-offs will be reported to the South African Police Service who will investigate, and individuals who are found to be breaking the law will be prosecuted. The manufacturers are promoting the hotline number on their websites and other platforms and enhancing the responsible-messaging campaigns.
The industry is committed to partnering in a new social compact with the government to save businesses and jobs in the sector. The sector has committed an investment of R150 million into direct harm reduction interventions and programmes over the coming year to assist the Government in dealing with the health and social burden of alcohol misuse.
“We call on the traders and consumers alike to abide by all the lockdown rules and make sure that the drinking occasions do not contribute to the spread of infections and unnecessary burden on the health system,” said Mngadi.