Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
11 Oct 2021
5:14 pm

Tavern owners launch vaccine drive, call for an end to booze bans for good

Siyanda Ndlovu

The NLT will embark on a vaccination drive for tavern owners on Tuesday in attempt to convince government to end an era of alcohol bans.

Picture: Neil McCartney

In an effort to convince the government to put an end to booze bans for good, the National Liquor Traders (NLT) in partnership with Concerned Tshwane Liquor Traders Association (CTLTA) will embark on a vaccination drive for tavern owners on Tuesday.

The NLT will host a Tavern Rally under the theme “No More Alcohol Bans”!

This was announced on Monday by the traders association convener Lucky Ntimane.

He said that the event will be attended to by the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Parks Tau, along with taxi association (Santaco) President Philip Taaibosch, Consumer Goods Council of SA CEO Gwarega Mangozhe, and Tourism Business Council of SA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa as guest speakers among others.

ALSO READ: ‘We are on our knees’: Liquor traders beg Ramaphosa to lift alcohol ban

The alcohol industry has suffered numerous bans during the past 18 months, resulting in over 100 thousand job losses and billions in lost income.

Back in August Heineken South Africa said that it was still invested in the country and has a long-term commitment.

It said, however, continuous bans were placing pressure on the industry to retain jobs, create new ones, and contribute to the local economy.

It announced that that: “Local production were hampered, resulting in ongoing efforts by the business to implement cost-cutting measures including, but not limited to, salary cuts as we desperately attempt to protect the jobs of more than 900 employees.

“Approximately 117,000 jobs were lost in the industry during the first ban on alcohol sales.

This was just shortly after the South African Breweries (SAB), had stated that it had cancelled R2.5 billion investments that were earmarked as part of its annual capital and infrastructure upgrade programme.

ALSO READ: Alcohol ban: Here’s what government could do instead

“The cancellation of this planned expenditure is a direct consequence of having lost (as at 3 August 2020) 12 full trading weeks, which effectively equates to some 30% of the SAB’s annual production,” said SAB’s vice president of finance, Andrew Murray.

In July the NTL penned a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and voiced out their frustrations about liquor sales ban.

“As an industry, we are on our knees. We have suffered many months over the last year when our members could not earn their own living,” Ntimane said in that letter.

“Past experience of dealing with the pandemic showed it was possible for liquor traders to continue to operate, subject to fully complying with safe operating standards, in a way that had not always been possible previously.”