Liquor traders fear festive season alcohol ban
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Pretoria - The cloud of uncertainty regarding the sale of alcohol during the festive season has left liquor traders frustrated.
President of the Concerned Tshwane Liquor Traders Association Oupa Mthombeni said being unsure about the government's next move left them feeling "unwanted" as a stricter lockdown would hamper their struggling businesses.
Mthombeni said members had been active in supporting the government's efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but they couldn’t afford another ban on the sale of alcohol.
"We are frustrated because as an industry we have been requesting an opportunity to sit down with the government and engage them, but they have not honoured our requests for a consultative process.
"Now we do not know what to do. We are happy that after the address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday we are still on level 1 of the lockdown. However, he is addressing the nation again soon, and things could potentially change.
"We believe things are very hard for us in the townships because, not only have we not recovered, some of us couldn’t reopen, while some people lost jobs.
"We are honestly fighting to survive every day and we therefore say we cannot afford another ban. Also, the uncertainty about the future frustrates us because we do not know what to do next," said Mthombeni.
Liquor traders Dan Lekwadu and Mike Bopape said they did not mind the curfew, but banning the sale of alcohol would not be necessary.
Bopape said: "I think banning alcohol and closing the economy would discredit the government's efforts to show the world that the travel bans imposed on South Africa were premature and not informed by science.
“They must find another way, just like they did during the elections. People are tired. People are hungry. We cannot lose more jobs or income because of these lockdown regulations."