As many liquor stores open their doors on Monday after a nine-week ban on the sale of alcohol, industry captains, including tavern owners, have warned that stockpiling of alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.
The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA), the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA) and the Consortium of Liquor Traders Associations (LTA) among others, have made it very clear that they do not want a repeat of the chaos that erupted when President Cyril Ramaphosa first announced the lockdown in March. Thousands of people stockpiled on essential goods, leaving store shelves bare.
BASA Chief Executive, Patricia Pillay, has spoken on behalf of traders and associations confirming that no bulk-buying would be permitted.
All industry players have reportedly compiled their own guidelines on sales and sent them to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Pillay said, “They (guidelines) are designed to protect all staff and customers from the spread of the virus. We will need a collective to unite in our efforts to create a safe environment for all staff, customers and others who may enter the outlets,”
According to Pillay, the industry would self-regulate in limiting the quantity of liquor made available for sale in any transaction aiding to support and promote responsible consumption.
“We have set up a hotline number (0800014856) for any incidents of criminality during this period,” said Pillay.
The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in South Africa has come out in support of the restrictions on alcohol sales. Their spokesperson, Maurice Smithers, said the level 3 measures must shift focus on the proper resourcing of monitoring and enforcement capacity, together with an efficient reporting mechanism for non-compliance.
“This is important to ensure that there isn’t a spike in liquor-related harms, especially as the easing of the ban on liquor will be accompanied by more movement in public spaces with people returning to work in most sectors of the economy.”
Under level 3 of the lockdown, the sale of alcohol is permitted from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm.