Why not allow online sales of alcohol? And why not allow wine farms to continue with wine tasting and wine sales? These are some of the burning questions by Christo van der Rheede, the Executive Director of Agri SA, to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the South African Government in relation to the third ban on this industry since the national lockdown came into effect last year.
These industries are vital to the thousands of employees facing unemployment and for the economy to grow and prosper in this dreadful time. Saving livelihoods is much needed than ever before.
Not to mention the dire situation the tourism and restaurant industries found themselves in and some have already had to permanently close their doors for good because of this third ban on alcohol during the peak annual holiday season.
“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,” said Van Rheede.
“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,” he continued.
“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!”