The National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC) wants to raise R100 million to support its 34,500 taverns as they have been in a constant battle with the government to lift the ban on alcohol sales.
The council aims to raise the funds over a two-to-three month period and will use it to provide food parcels and essential supplies to tavern owners who have felt the grunt as businesses have been brought to a standstill.
The NLTC’s Lucky Ntimane says tavern owners have not received any assistance from the government and are using their own initiatives to raise funds through industry partners and the general public.
“Taverns contribute about 34% of revenue for manufacturers. They need these taverns to be operational in the next two to three years for these manufacturers to even exist themselves.”
Ntimane says most tavern owners were forced to lay off staff and about 50% of them will not be able to operate come 2021.
He adds, “When they have to cook food they have to include those staff members that they’ve laid off. I think the strain is way beyond what we’ve imagined and this cuts across the fabric of the township economy.”
The council is asking for a government support grant for its taverns in the form of a once-off payment of R20 000 each.