- Pick n Pay CEO Pieter Boone believes that it is time for President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the ban on alcohol sales
- Given the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng that transpired in the past weeks, Boone believes the sale of alcohol will help businesses recover
- The Beer Association of South Africa also believes that the alcohol ban should be lifted to prevent the industry from collapsing
Pieter Boone, CEO of the Pick n Pay Group, has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the ban on alcohol sales soon.
Lifting the alcohol ban, according to Boone, will be especially advantageous to businesses that have been severely harmed by recent looting and rioting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, according to a report by BusinessTech.
This week, Boone travelled to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to inspect damaged businesses, warehouses, and distribution centres.
He spoke with employees, franchise partners, and other stakeholders who have been affected, according to a report by EWN.
“Speaking to franchisees and independent traders in the affected areas, I firmly believe that it is time now for the president to announce a lifting of the ban on liquor sales," said Boone.
Boone added that store owners relied on alcohol sales to sustain their businesses and it is quite possible that South Africa has passed the peak of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Boone says that lifting the alcohol ban could also be vital in helping the country recover from the events that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
"Lifting the ban will be widely welcomed across the country as a positive and responsible step forward in our recovery from the events of last week," he said.
Beer Association of South Africa says industry suffered huge losses in Gauteng and KZN unrest
The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) has also called on the South African government to lift the ban on alcohol sales to prevent the industry from totally collapsing. Speaking to Briefly News, BASA says that the industry took a huge hit during the unrest, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.
The organisation says one of its key members Heineken's warehouse and distribution centres were looted of stock and equipment worth millions of rands. Craft beer brewers also suffered huge losses with many unable to save their stock or start brewing again.
BASA says there is a serious need for the government to intervene and save businesses. They suggest that the ban on alcohol sales should be lifted on 26 July. BASA is also concerned about alcohol being sold on the black market which is estimated to be worth R20.5 million.
The organisation has taken steps to meet with the government and try to find solutions that can help the industry. They have called for an urgent meeting with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel to find a way to continue alcohol sales during the pandemic.
The organisation also noted that it was important to save jobs as many people have been let go because of the past alcohol bans. They believe that 9 206 jobs in the alcohol industry are at risk.
Presidency said to be discussing unrest relief fund, could be up to R595
Briefly News previously reported that the South African government, as well as businesses and labour leaders, are currently in discussions of a relief grant for people impacted by the violent protest that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week.
While both labour and business leaders recognise the need for assistance in the aftermath of the riots, there is disagreement about whether the social relief grant should be temporary or the start of a basic income grant, according to News24.
Vice president of Business Unity South Africa Martin Kingston stated that the grant needed to be within our constrained fiscal environment as well as affordable. Speculation is that the R350 relief that was implemented during the coronavirus pandemic would be reinstated.
Matthew Parks, who is the parliamentary coordinator for Cosatu, stated they were confident that it would happen soon.
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