Alcohol premises become target of crime and looting

Media Statement

  • Opening of sales can reduce the demand

The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA) has called on Government to consider allowing some limited sales of alcohol as liquor premises increasingly become the target of crime and looting since the current sales ban was implemented on June 27.

SALBA Chairperson Sibani Mngadi said its member-companies have reported several incidents of break-ins into their warehouses and distribution centres since the implementation of the current ban. “Over the past week, our members have reported crime incidences reported in Pretoria, Boksburg, Durban and Bloemfontein where there was theft of stock,” said Mngadi.

Illegal production of alcohol has also reached industrial scale with police discovering one of these illegal distillery operations in Welkom on Friday.

“While many businesses are affected by the incidents related to political unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, liquor stores are becoming a particular target of mass looting due to high demand for alcoholic beverages as a result of the ban of sales,” said Mngadi.

SALBA has made a submission to National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) requesting that alcohol sales for home consumption be allowed from Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. The organisation has requested that e-commerce and home deliveries be allowed as these sales channels do not pose any increased risk of infections relative to similar sales of other goods.

“Opening some form of legal sales will reduce the increasing incidents of crime, especially at this time when experts are suggesting that Gauteng province might have reached the peak of the current third wave of COVID-19 infections,” said Mngadi.

Senior medical epidemiologist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Head of South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium, Dr Harry Moultrie, tweeted on July 5 that “Gauteng’s 7-day moving average of cases has likely peaked.”  However, he also notes that it is “important to remember though that approximately half of cases in the third wave will be diagnosed on the downward slope. Maintain social distancing and NPIs [Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions].”

The alcohol industry has argued that restricting mobility through curfews, curbing gatherings and other protective measures including hygiene and sanitation have been recognised globally as the most effective and pragmatic approach to halting the spread of COVID-19.

 

 

Issued by FTI Consulting on behalf of the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (SALBA).

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