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SAB lobbies govt to allow alcohol sales

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The brewery has been publicly pleading with the National Command Council to consider its request under strict rules.

THE GOVERNMENT is facing a fresh headache from the country’s biggest brewer, South African Breweries (SAB), which wants it to allow alcohol sales during Level 4 of the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.

SAB has over the past few days been publicly pleading with the National Command Council, which takes decisions during the lockdown, to consider its request under strict rules, arguing that “the longer we are unable to operate, the bigger the ripple effect”.

The alcohol beverage industry across the value chain is suffering huge financial losses because of the ban on the sale of alcohol since the national state of disaster was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Speaking to Independent Media yesterday, Hellen Ndlovu, SAB’s director of regulatory and public policy, said they are in talks with the command council and they hope the talks will yield positive results.

“We had submitted our proposal to the National Command Council for alcohol to be sold under Lockdown Level 4, with conditions. We are engaging them quite extensively on the matter, and we do hope that we will reach a common ground on the matter, sooner rather than later,” said Ndlovu.