Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
5 minute read
4 Aug 2020
4:10 pm

Booze ban’s impact across multiple sectors greatly underestimated

Nica Richards

SAB has already announced a potential R5 billion loss in investments, while liquor store owners worry about expired stock, taverns may never open again, waste pickers have less income, and the glass sector risks de-industrialisation.

Parkhurst restaurant owners, staff, patrons in Johannesburg, 22 July 2020, during the protest against the restrictions imposed by lockdown. Restaurant owners, staff, patrons took to the streets to voice their anger. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Discussions held during a virtual roundtable meeting on Tuesday between stakeholders, media, South African Breweries’ (SAB) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (Ab-InBev) made clear not only how important it is to consider the greater impact of the ban on value-chains, but also Ab-InBev “fundamentally” disagreeing with government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. The discussion centred on whether shutting down an entire industry and associated value chains was justifiable based solely on the potential impact the sector has on a shortage of hospital beds. The second ban on alcohol sales in South Africa came with no warning, discussion or room for industry to...