by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AGRICULTURE South Africa (AgriSA) is against the government’s prohibition of alcohol sales during the coronavirus lockdown.
The organisation said such a move was fuelling illegal sales and was detrimental to the economy.
“The responsible use of wine and alcohol is advocated by the liquor industry as they are required by law to do so,” said Christo van der Rheede, the Agri SA Executive Director.
He added, “A total ban already has an extremely negative economic impact on the industry.”
Van der Rheede said President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet should instead 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.”
Van der Rheede advocated for online sales of alcohol and wine farms to continue with tasting and sales.
“There are strategies to keep the industry going and protect jobs. But it requires greater cooperation and exchange of ideas. Therefore, please listen to the plea of the sector! Please Mr President.”
The prohibition of alcohol is a divisive issue in South Africa’s fight against the pandemic that has infected over 1,2 million South Africans and left more than 33 000 other people dead.
Government argues alcohol strains the health system. The hospitality sector has also voiced its concern over the alcohol ban.
– CAJ News