Alcohol industry 'blindsided' by immediate return of liquor ban

Alcohol industry 'blindsided' by immediate return of liquor ban

- The liquor industry says that it has been blindsided by the sudden return of the ban on alcohol

- The sector has warned of the dire economic fallout including job losses that would be prompted by this move

- This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the ban would kick in with immediate effect

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The alcohol industry has signalled its shock by the government's reinstatement of the ban with immediate effect.

The sector says that the move will have a massive economic impact with job losses expected to take place.

The National Liquor Traders Council, South African Liquor Brandowners Association, the Beer Association of SA, Vinpro, and the Liquor Traders Association of SA issued a joint statement signalling their disappointment:

"The industry was given no warning about the ban, nor an opportunity to consult with the National Coronavirus Command Centre (NCCC) before a decision was made and no consideration was given to the immediate logistical difficulties it poses for both suppliers, distributors and retailers alike."

READ ALSO: President Ramaphosa keeps SA at Level 3: Liquor ban, curfew return

The industry pointed out that almost one million citizens are expected to be affected:

"The liquor industry has a wide and deep value chain employing almost one million people across the country. The Government’s decision has serious economic consequences, placing hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at risk."

Previously, reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had announced the reimplementation of the liquor ban with immediate effect as of Sunday evening.

Ramaphosa had explained that the ban would help provide some relief in hospitals where an increase in trauma patients had been recorded, strain that comes at a critical time in the nation's Covid-19 response.

The National Coronavirus Command Council had been approached by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who had requested that the council should reconsider the lifting of the ban.

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