Liquor industry workers battling to make ends meet

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Some workers in the liquor industry in Bloemfontein say they are battling to make ends meet due to the ban on the sale of alcohol. They are calling on the government to ease the COVID-19 restrictions for them to be able to continue trading.

This comes after the alcohol ban was extended along with other restrictions as part of adjusted Lockdown Level 3.

President Ramaphosa announced the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol:

Lockdown restrictions have resulted in millions of job losses.

For Refilwe Nosi, a mother of two, life has been difficult. Nosi has been working at a tavern for more than five years. She says lockdown restrictions have worsened the situation as her children have to go back to school.

“It’s very hard because the thing is that we are closed at work and I didn’t mind at all because I have two kids and the other one is getting a grant. So I didn’t mind but now it’s a stress because they have to go to school.”

Another worker at the tavern, Serame Shuping, says his boss assists him with groceries but it’s not enough.

“I now do piece jobs like gardens; when I see someone’s yard is dirty, I work it. My boss has children so he has to provide his children not me, but he’s like a father to me.”

Liquor traders battling to make ends meet following latest alcohol ban:

Easing of lockdown

Bottle store owner Itumeleng Tlhakudi is calling for the government to ease lockdown restrictions for them to be able to trade. He is worried that the stock he bought for the festive season will soon expire.

“It’s too much since March when this COVID-19 started, it has affected us. Because our income is no more like before. You buy liquor and the next thing President shuts down; when you look your stock is expired. We have to throw it away. If now before the lockdown we went for the festive season and invested more than R100 000 in stock, but in the end, the President had to close.”

Workers and owners say they hope that things will get better soon.

Beer Association of SA says alcohol ban will cost jobs and increase illicit sales: