The National Liquor Traders Association is calling on government not to impose another harsh lockdown, saying it will have a detrimental impact on the industry.
This comes amid rumours of a possible lockdown this festive season, due to the new Omicron variant and rising COVID-19 infections. More than 3 200 cases were recorded on Saturday, with eight deaths.
The majority of new infections, over 2 600, were recorded in Gauteng.
The National Liquor Traders Association’s Lucky Ntimane raises their concerns: “We are concerned about the possibility of the alcohol ban or possible restrictions which we feel will not be based on science or common sense. We as the alcohol industry ensure that our liquor traders and patrons have undergone vaccinations. So we feel since we have done our part that government must level with us and talk to us so that we can find sustainable ways on which we can deal with COVID-19 without having to subject our people to poverty by compromising their livelihoods, the issue of lives is important but so is livelihoods.”
In June this year, tavern and liquor traders gathered in Tembisa on the Gauteng East Rand for enhanced training on COVID-19 compliance protocols. The National Liquor Traders Association brought a number of stakeholders together to train tavern owners on the importance of maintaining strict regulations at their establishments.
In the video below from June, National Liquor Traders Association’s Lucky Ntimane elaborates on the initiative:
Restaurant Association calling for a meeting with the President
The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) on Saturday called for a direct meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa, amid rumours of a possible lockdown on the cards.
The association says it can’t afford another lockdown as it will financially cripple members and result in massive job losses.
They are calling on President Ramaphosa to meet them so they can outline their plans to facilitate COVID-19 compliance while keeping their doors open.
Rumours of a possible lockdown have been making the rounds, following the detection of a new variant and a rise in COVID-19 infections.
RASA spokesperson Wendy Alberts says they need to keep the economy down.
“The most important thing now is while the numbers are low we need to do everything to keep the economy open. We need to take the pressure of small businesses like restaurants and we need to ensure that we continue not to go into other restrictions and use this time to build the economy and keep people employed and to ensure that as we move through the stage of lockdown we continue to show that we are compliant and do everything we can as an industry to follow through with the protocols as well as the regulations.”