Agri SA warns extended booze ban will fuel illegal sales

12 January 2021 - 11:57
Agri SA says the extended alcohol ban will fuel illegal sales. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Somchai Jongmeesuk Agri SA says the extended alcohol ban will fuel illegal sales. Stock photo.

Agri SA has warned that the continued ban on alcohol is likely to fuel illegal sales and called for liquor to be made available online.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on Monday night that the ban would be upheld during the extension of level 3 of the lockdown until February 15.

He also announced some changes to restrictions including the curfew, which will now be between 9pm and 5am.

Ramaphosa said during his address that the prohibition had eased the pressure on health-care workers battling to cope with the onslaught of Covid-19 cases.

Christo van der Rheede, head of Agri SA, questioned why the online sale of alcohol could not be permitted.

“Why not allow wine farms to continue with wine tasting and wine sales?” he said.

“The responsible use of wine and alcohol is advocated by the liquor industry, as they are required by law to do so.

“A total ban already has an extremely negative economic impact on the industry. Cabinet should rather work with the alcohol industry to launch a strategy to establish a culture that promotes the responsible use of alcohol.

“The impact of a total ban will completely destroy the economic contribution of the alcohol industry.

“There are strategies to keep the industry going and protect jobs, but it requires greater co-operation and exchange of ideas. Therefore please listen to the plea of the sector,” said Van der Rheede.