No hiccups to resumption of alcohol trading

No hiccups to resumption of alcohol trading

The first day of the resumption of the sale of liquor went down relatively smoothly, according to the South African Liquor Brandowners' Association (SALBA), The Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) and wine producer representative, VinPro.

Alcohol sales
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CEO of SALBA and spokesperson for the associations, Kurt Moore says there were no major issues. 

He says most outlets across the country were able to open and trade safely on Monday, despite the long queues. 

"The licensed outlets, such as taverns and bars, which previously had on-premises consumption, are now allowed to operate and that helps to spread the demand."

"I also witnessed some long queues, but I think the retailers operated professionally and efficiently. We had our comprehensive protocols to protect staff and consumers." 

READ: Durbanites toast alcohol ban lift

The associations are also heaping praise on customers, saying they came to the party to make the first day safe and successful. 

The associations have expressed gratitude that government was willing to be persuaded to reconsider the restrictions on trading hours. 

Initially, there were plans to limit liquor store trading in Level 3 lockdown to just four hours from 8am to 12pm, Monday to Thursday. 

After submissions and discussions between industry roleplayers and government last week, the hours were doubled. 

Liquor sales are now allowed between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday, strictly for home consumption. 

Moore believes that given the current circumstances, e-commerce will be considered more, and the industry will have to adopt a new way of doing business. 

"I think that online trading will escalate, especially over the short to medium-term when people are still concerned about the potential spread of the virus. The way we operate will change, and as you have seen, even those who have to go back to work have to get used to a new normal." 

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