SAB: We didn't break lockdown rules, the alcohol was going to our storage
Johannesburg - South African Breweries (SAB) has defended their transportation of alcohol which was impounded by the police, saying it had not been for sale or distribution.
They said the alcohol in transit at the time was being moved to their offsite storage facility as their warehouse storage capacity at the breweries had reached permissible limits and they had obtained permission to move it.
The brewery also said they were aware that seven employees and two third-party drivers had been arrested and that the load impounded but that they got legal assistance for them.
The alcohol, estimated at R13 million, was seized in Chamdor near Kagiso, on Wednesday.
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, said the trucks were on their way to deliver alcohol when they were intercepted and that the drivers were fined.
"Police are looking for the managers who issued the instruction for the trucks to deliver, so they can be arrested," she said.
The movement of alcohol is one of the restrictions that the Minister of Police Bheki Cele put in place for the duration of the lockdown.
“Movement of alcohol will be restricted. There shall be no movement of liquor from point A to B. If we find liquor in your car's boot, that is illegal. If you break these laws, you are six months in jail or fined," he had said.
The brewery said they had since engaged the Department of Trade and Industry and the police to clarify the matter, whom they have already shown all requisite approvals and permits.
"The movement of the alcohol at our seven breweries is specifically provided for in the lockdown regulations and in particular Regulation 11 B 4A of Chapter 2. This pre-approved plan is aimed at ensuring the safety of our employees, the communities around our operations, the environment and our inventory.
"SAB wishes to assure government and the public that it is not in contravention of the law, and takes seriously the president’s call to lockdown the country to safeguard our people’s health and wellness.
"We are committed to complying with the Disaster Management Act and the lockdown regulations. As an organisation we are here to play our part not only in fighting the pandemic, but in protecting the well-being of our communities, our employees, and our contributions towards the economy."