The Western Cape Liquor Authority says those who have had their liquor licences suspended, will have the opportunity to present their cases at the end of the lockdown, on the reasons behind them selling alcohol while it is prohibited.
The Liquor Authority has suspended 20 liquor licences for non-compliance since March 23, saying 31 others are still being investigated.
The Western Cape Liquor Authority’s Deputy Director, Philip Prinsloo has warned that the illegal sale of alcohol will not be tolerated.
Prinsloo says, “Alcohol sales are prohibited. To drink during this period, it will affect you negatively. When people get drunk and there are other medical difficulties while we are fighting this virus, alcohol will affect them negatively. I think, to give these people a fair chance, what we have decided on is, to give them after this lockdown an opportunity to come and present their case, instead of just taking their licence away.”
“So they can present their case before the tribunal and after that the tribunal will then either choose to revoke the licence or to give them a fine of up to R 150 000.”
The CEO the Liquor Brand Owners Association, Kurt Moore speaks on the issue of illicit trade and that it has alcohol brand owners concerned amid lockdown:
‘Ban on alcohol sale is a big mistake’
South African Breweries (SAB) says the ban of alcohol under the national lockdown is a mistake as it creates a bigger opportunity for the black market to flourish.
It added that the loss in sales has a negative effect on the economy.
SAB says they understand that the ban on the sale of alcohol is a bid to flatten the curve of the spread of Coronavirus, but that that doesn’t take away the demand for alcoholic beverages.
In April, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) lost around R1.5 billion in revenue due to the ban on alcohol and cigarettes.
The Director of Regulatory and Public Policy at SAB, Hellen Ndlovu speaks on the issues:
INFOGRAPHIC: Level 4 COVID-19 punishable offences: