The National Liquor Traders have 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. They have also called on government to look into other measures to curb the spread of the virus than alcohol restrictions.
The Convenor of the National Liquor Traders (NLT) Lucky 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 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:
Alcohol sale ban not sustainable: Expert
In May, a surgery expert said although a temporary ban on the sale of alcohol during the coronavirus pandemic proved successful in reducing the number of trauma cases received in hospitals, it is not sustainable.
There are increasing calls for a restriction on the sale of alcohol as the country is experiencing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director at the Centre for Global Surgery at Stellenbosch University, Professor Kathryn Chu says there are other ways of reducing alcohol consumption in a long term.