Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
5 minute read
2 Aug 2020
2:42 pm

Booze ban puts black-owned business development on ice

Nica Richards

The continuing ban on alcohol may be protecting our fragile healthcare system, but it is also threatening at least one million jobs across the liquor industry value chain, from glass and aluminium container manufacturers, to township entrepreneurs, who are predominantly women.

People working in the restaurant, food and alcohol industry take part in a nationwide protest against provisions in South African government Lockdown legislation, which threatens the survival of the businesses and jobs, in Cape Town city centre, on July 22, 2020. The reintroduction on the ban on alcohol sales and a night curfew by the South African government will have a negative economic impact on the hospitality industry. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

South Africa’s ban on alcohol sales has been in place for 12 weeks, and has put immense strain on the livelihoods of one million people across the industry’s value chain. President Cyril Ramaphosa reinstated the alcohol ban with immediate effect on 12 July. Vice president of corporate affairs at South African Breweries (SAB) Zoleka Lisa lamented that the suspension of alcohol sales has placed “an immense burden” on black-owned businesses across SAB. Of the 35,000 taverns supporting black entrepreneurs, 54% of those are owned by women. The tavern industry is worth between R40 and R60 billion, but 15% of township...