Tavern owners and liquor traders have gathered in Tembisa on the Gauteng East Rand for enhanced training on COVID-19 compliance protocols.

The National Liquor Traders Association has brought a number of stakeholders together to train tavern owners on the importance of maintaining strict regulations at their establishments. Liquor outlets have been deemed as super spreader venues.

The Convenor of the National Liquor Traders Association Lucky Ntimane says, “It was important to demonstrate this, we want to be part of the solution. Especially in the midst of a third wave that is really killing our people. Really to sanitise liquor traders on compliance and how they conduct themselves. We must be able to support government’s efforts in Gauteng to ensure that we fight the pandemic together. For us, we want to create champions so that when they go to communities, they are able to lead by example in how they conduct themselves and encourage their patrons to do the same. When they get home, they are able to observe the protocols.”

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Last week, The National Liquor Traders called on government not to impose another ban on the sale of alcohol as COVID-19 numbers surge.

The alcohol industry has bemoaned the ban saying producers and retailers were taking strain running into billions of rands of losses. They have also called on government to look into other measures to curb the spread of the virus than alcohol restrictions.

Ntimane says the government should ensure that the public follows non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“The first instance is for government to ramp up vaccination. I think that is the first and important aspect of us dealing with this pandemic. Secondly, if you look at the issue of involving the whole society in ensuring that we are able to work closely with government in how we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I think we got lessons to learn from the AIDS pandemic where we were able to have close communications that give power to individuals [and] communities, to be able to take into their hands to be able to project behaviour that ensures that we are able to deal with the virus,” explains Ntimane.

Last month, the liquor traders announced that it would defy ‘unconstitutional’ restrictions on alcohol: