Durban - The Beer Association of South Africa (Basa) is concerned about job losses in the industry after the country entered its second Covid-19 wave.
The country is still on level 1 of the national lock down.
Basa comprises of the Craft Brewers Association, Heineken South Africa and South African Breweries.
Basa CEO Patricia Pillay said they would be taking a no-nonsense approach over the festive season to safeguard lives and protect 415 000 jobs that depend on the beer industry.
“We will roll out extensive interventions to ensure the trade and consumption of alcohol continues under the strictest safety conditions over the festive season. The previous alcohol bans and prolonged restrictions on the trade of alcohol saw an estimated 7 400 jobs lost, R14.2 billion in lost sales revenue and more than R7.4bn loss in taxes and excise duties in the beer industry alone,”she said.
Pillay said the craft brewery sector was particularly hard hit, with 30% of breweries shutting their doors while others were forced to retrench staff. The industry, Pillay said, cannot afford another ban or further trade restrictions.
“We all play our part in flattening the curve and to avoid our health services becoming overwhelmed over the festive season. We will continue working with government, the broader alcohol sector and partners in the tourism and hospitality industry to drive interventions that ensure alcohol is sold and consumed under the strictest safety conditions, taking into account social distancing and health protocols,”Pillay said.
Basa members have provided training and guidelines to outlets across the country, including the roll-out of 50 000 educational posters to establishments. Pillay said these oversight visits would continue over the festive season.
Basa launched a number of ‘click-and-collect’ platforms that allow customers to place their orders online or via SMS and pick up their purchases at a designated time to minimise crowds at outlets.
“We will maintain our zero-tolerance approach towards non-compliant businesses by cutting off supply to those outlets and establishments that have had their licences revoked by provincial liquor authorities,” Pillay said.