The National Liquor Traders Council has welcomed the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding the sale of alcohol in South Africa.
The President Announced the following:
- The sale of alcohol from retail outlets for off-site consumption will be permitted between 10 am and 6 pm from Monday to Friday.
- Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be permitted as per licence conditions up to 10 pm.
- Alcohol consumption remains prohibited in public spaces.
Lucky Ntimane of The National Liquor Traders Council says that while they welcome the announcement, he believes that the president has missed an opportunity to move the country to alert level one. A move that Ntimane believes would have accelerated the recovery of the economy.
Ntimane has also questioned the reasoning behind only allowing alcohol sellers to have 5 days of trading. He said, “I mean our bottle store owners in the township space are struggling you know we expected better because I mean what is the reason behind only allowing five days trading instead of seven-day trading. It doesn't make sense at all”.
He says bottle store owners have been treated with total disdain from the government. “We are yet to meet with any significant member of the president's inner circle, in terms of cabinet ministers, the president himself continuously avoids meeting with us since the 26th of March 2020 up to to date. We are yet to be considered as an industry. The government continues to make decisions for us without us”.
Fundile Nyati from Proactive Health Solutions says even those working in the healthcare sector have welcomed the announcement from the president. He explains that this is due to the current pressure being low on the country's healthcare system.
Nyati said, “I think the load on the healthcare system is definitely much lower but obviously the worry is always that when we open up you know and the restrictions are actually you know reduced then people go partying and they don't you know observe the prevention measures and then we back to the old situation again so that's the worry”. He believes that Covid-19 vaccination is the only tool we have as a country in combating the pandemic.
Ntimane says people in the alcohol industry would fully support any plans to encourage people to get vaccinated.