Friday 21 August 2020,20:34pm/ ANA
SAB has urged residents to drink responsibly now that the sale of alcohol has been permitted under level 2. Photo: Leon Nicholas/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – South African Breweries (SAB) has called on business and the public to follow strict Covid-19 protocols and adhere to lockdown level 2 regulations in order to protect lives and support the 1.1 million people who depend on the alcoholic beverage industry for their livelihoods.
In a statement issued on Friday, the group said that compliance with new operating hours for taverns, bars and restaurants as well as restrictions on retail outlet trading times were unambiguous.
The group said that should establishments have their alcohol licence revoked for any lawful reason, including the contravention of any Covid-19 regulations, SAB would not be legally allowed to sell alcohol to them.
SAB said the government had opened up the economy and lifted the alcohol ban under very strict conditions that will need to be adhered to in order to safeguard against Covid-19 risks.
“These conditions include alcohol being permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only until 10pm, while liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.”
“The one million livelihoods our industry supports simply cannot afford further restrictions on the sale of alcohol as a result of non-compliance with level 2 regulations and irresponsible consumption.
“For many of our value chain partners who are struggling to get back on their feet, another ban or increased regulations could mean an end of their business and jeopardise the livelihoods of their employees,” said Zoleka Lisa, vice-president of corporate affairs at SAB.
SAB said it supported the tavern and liquor outlet pledge to ensure that establishments that sell alcohol take responsibility for their customers.
The group said it and its industry partners had provided taverns and restaurants with safety equipment as well as risk mitigation support and educational materials.
“At SAB we maintain that we want every experience with our beers to be a positive one, and this means taking a firm stance against harmful or irresponsible drinking,” said Lisa.
Lisa said SAB’s sales force and industry partners will be conducting regular checks to ensure on-premises consumption followed the Covid-19 protocols.
According to the statement, tavern owners had committed to an industry charter that pledges not to serve alcohol to people who have already had too much to drink, to promote no drinking and driving/walking messaging, and to follow strict Covid-19 safety regulations.
“We are still very much in the midst of a health pandemic and we all need to not drink and drive in order to preserve all the livelihoods supported by the alcohol industry.
“SAB understands the hard work ahead in working together in a collaborative approach with our stakeholders and value chain to ensure we rebuild the economy. We must ensure that everyone follows and adheres to government guidelines in order for us to ensure that we do not risk more lives and livelihoods,” said Lisa.
SAB has called on people to be responsible and report and act against anyone who contravenes the level 2 regulations linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol on 0800 014 858.
This hotline is administered by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa, who will liaise with law enforcement on reported cases.
African News Agency