The alcohol and hospitality industry has been struggling to stay afloat, following the implementation of the ban on the sale and onsite consumption of alcohol – one of the adjusted alert level 3 regulations.
The wine industry outlined some of the ways that it has been affected by the ban in an open letter to President Ramaphosa, including the loss of jobs, and stock.
Restaurants have also reported a loss of revenue, which is impacting their ability to retain staff, while South African Breweries has cancelled R5 billion worth of investment in South Africa.
To date, some of the criteria for lifting the ban, set out by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, have been met, including a slight decline in new infections and hospitalisations.
As such, reports News24, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and other stakeholders have been considering adjusting the regulations.
The NCCC met on Wednesday last week, and Nerdlac (which brings together government, business and labour) met on Saturday, to discuss the financial impact of the ban.
It’s worth noting that any changes to the alert level 3 restrictions have to be approved by the cabinet, which is set to meet this coming Wednesday (February 3, 2020).
In the interim, Bheki Cele has continued to make statements about how he plans to continue taking a hard line when it comes to enforcing the ban, which he would prefer stays in place.
I assume that’s why a restaurant manager was allegedly arrested after pouring a non-alcoholic drink. The establishment’s alcohol was also seized.
Nothing has been confirmed and decisions are still being made, with Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Tyrone Seale stating that the “presidency will make the necessary announcements as and when the president is due to address the nation”.
Liquor Traders Association convenor, Lucky Ntimane, said this morning that the industry expects to start trading on Tuesday, adding that “the issue of alcohol being allowed has been agreed already”.
Perhaps there could be another ‘family meeting’ on the cards soon.
UPDATE: President Ramaphosa will address the nation tonight at 8PM, as confirmed by the Presidency:
President @CyrilRamaphosa will address the nation at 20h00 today, Monday 1 February 2021, on developments in relation to the country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/JCEmKpjHlw
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) February 1, 2021
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