A recent report made by The Sunday Times has it that the South African Liquor Brand Association has voiced their concern over the ban on alcohol sales on the country stating that the ban could be reviewed by Jan. 15th. According to the same report, sales of alcohol at least for home consumption should be allowed.
SAB also support this stance in a recent court application against alcohol ban in the country which had also prompted independent traders of alcohol to call on the government to allow the continuation of their business but with licenses which should be for home consumption.
The ban was enforced by the country’s President back in Dec. 28th over the COVID-19 lockdown as more cases are being reported. The ban was an attempt to curb the spread of the pandemic which will in turn prevent people from going out.
The president said the alcohol ban and other measures would be reviewed before 15 January 2020 which is a day after the CES 2021.
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The alcohol ban ban was challenged by SAB in court after the enforcement back in December of 2020 stating that it goes beyond what is a reasonable measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
“SAB believes that any ban, including the current one, goes far beyond what is reasonable and necessary to contain the spread of the virus and unlawfully restricts various rights that are enshrined and protected by our constitution,” SAB said.
“These include the right to freedom of trade, the right to human dignity, privacy, and the right to bodily and psychological integrity.”
It argued that the alcohol ban removes the South African public’s right to responsibly consume alcohol in the privacy of their own homes, noting that the prohibition would have severe negative effects on local industry.
“The damage to the South African economy and impact on the alcohol value chain arising from the ban on the sale of alcohol is, in SAB’s view, disproportional and unlawful.”
SAB further reiterated that the previously implemented restrictions on trading hours and days were reasonable and effective to effectively curb transmission of the coronavirus when paired with a curfew but stated an outright ban on the sales of alcohol could cripple the country’s economy.
“Over 165,000 people have already lost their jobs with a further 100,000 people moving into poverty as a result of the alcohol bans,” SAB said.
“We have seen small and large businesses severely impacted, billions of rand lost in taxes, the entrenchment of illicit trading and the looting of alcohol stores.”
“Restricting the legal trade of alcohol fuels the growth of the illicit market, a fact that is widely acknowledged internationally,” it added.