The alcohol industry has expressed support for law enforcement when it comes to businesses that do not comply with COVID-19 protocols.

The industry says it does not want a return of the ban on liquor sales during the hard lockdown and businesses must therefore comply with government regulations.

There are concerns that there could be a substantial second wave of the coronavirus if people and businesses do not adhere to COVID-19 protocols. Liquor companies are also subject to regulations limiting trade to weekdays.

SA Liquor Brandowners Association chairperson, Sibani Mngadi, says they are fully committed to ensuring that the protocols are adhered to.

“The alcohol industry welcomes the effort of SA Police to investigate outlets that are not complying with rules of trading hours, social distancing, and wearing of masks. If such investigation leads to the review of licences we are fully committed to immediately stop servicing and supplying those outlets with our products.”

The closure of taverns and shebeens, meant a significant loss of income for a lot of people across South Africa, particularly in poorer areas.

Economic challenges in the alcohol industry:

Government calls for businesses to pay their part 

Meanwhile, The Gauteng Health Department has called on businesses to play a more active role in the fight against COVID-19.

The department has received reports that restaurants and nightclubs have continued to operate beyond the midnight curfew.

Some businesses have been closed for non-compliance during the police’s operation “O kae Molao”.

The department’s spokesperson, Kwara Kekana, says businesses should hold each other accountable. 

“With a total disregard of approved numbers of social gatherings, these types of gatherings have proven to be a super spread of coronavirus. Government continues to enforce regulations with operation “O kae Molao” and regular inspections by compliance and enforcement teams. We call on all businesses and stakeholders to hold each other accountable and play their part to ensure compliance with COVID-19 health protocols. We remind people of Gauteng that coronavirus is still in our midst and there is no cure for it.”

Second coronavirus wave depends on the actions of ordinary people 

President of the Medical Research Council, Professor Glenda Gray, says the size of the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in South Africa depends on the actions of ordinary people.

People are still expected to wear masks, practice social distancing and regularly wash hands for at least 20 seconds.

Level One of the lockdown has seen most sectors of the economy reopening, but experts say many people are falling into a false sense of security about the virus.

South Africa has over 715 000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. COVID-19 has killed almost 19 000 people in the country.