We stand against irresponsible behaviour by alcohol consumers and non-compliant liquor traders!

GLF Quarterly Column

The government imposed the third ban on alcohol sales because of the spike in Covid-19 infections. This was attributed to the flouting of Covid-19 protocols by some liquor outlets. There are viral videos showing people dancing, not wearing masks and not social distancing.

Liquor traders' associations condemned this irresponsible behaviour because this leads to the banning of alcohol, which impacts on livelihoods.

In most cases, the liquor outlets that are flouting Covid-19 protocols are not members of any association, which makes it difficult to deal with such outlets unless the police enforce compliance.

In most cases, the liquor outlets that are flouting Covid-19 protocols are not members of any association, which makes it difficult to deal with such outlets unless the police enforce compliance.

The police are not visible enough to deal with non-compliance by some liquor outlets and public drinking which is prohibited.

Provincial legislation in all nine provinces does not allow for the consumption of alcohol in public places. People in South Africa are roaming the streets drinking alcohol without fear because they know that they will never get arrested!

If law enforcement agencies had enforced the provision in the Liquor Act that prohibits public drinking, South Africa would not have experienced such irresponsible alcohol consumption.

The Gauteng Liquor Forum has made countless inputs to the government but they were not considered, nor did the government respond to our letters. We told the government that off-site consumption is the only viable option for taverns and shebeens to not flout Covid-19 protocols.

The Gauteng Liquor Forum has taken a decision to partner with other associations and manufacturers to embark on a campaign against irresponsible behaviour by some of the liquor outlets and against irresponsible alcohol consumption.

We are calling on all law enforcement agencies to partner with liquor traders associations in enforcing compliance, especially in all the hotspots and notorious liquor outlets.

By:Musa Ntshangase, GLF Secretary