Tavern owners seek solution before going the route of the taxi industry
The National Liquor Traders Council wants to raise R100-million to support 34,500 taverns over a two to three-month period by providing food parcels and other necessary supplies.
Convenor Lucky Ntimane says the alcohol industry is struggling and when he was visiting taverns over the past weekend he realised that almost 50% of the owners will not be able to restart their businesses when the lockdown is over.
We saw in the first instance of lockdown 7,000 to 8,000 members were not able to trade and in this current lockdown we are extremely, extremely worried, the situation is very dire.Lucky Ntimane, Convener National Liquor Traders Council
During President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address on 12 July 2020, he announced the suspension of the sale and purchase of alcohol with immediate effect as clinics and hospitals were being burdened with alcohol-related injuries that could have been avoided in the country.
A caller by the name of Christina weighed in on the situation by telling her story as a shebeen owner. She expressed the frustration of not being warned by the government before suspending alcohol and that she has loans and medical bills she now cannot pay as her business is not operating.
Now that the 34,500 of taverns are not able to operate, it means each and every livelihood linked to that tavern space is now suffering as a result of the announcement made by the president to switch off this sector with immediate effect.Lucky Ntimane, Convener National Liquor Traders Council
Ntimane says they have written letters to the government even before the lockdown to propose options that could look at working together but their request to meet with the government has fallen on deaf ears.
We feel the government does not actually take us seriously as small black-owned businesses and liquor traders in the townships.Lucky Ntimane, Convener National Liquor Traders Council
A caller by the name of Ngwako said that the alcohol ban has also affected those who are not involved in selling alcohol as his friend owes him R10,000 that he cannot pay back and that the decision made by the government is promoting the selling of alcohol illegally.
We will not recommend and advocate for the illegal sale of alcohol from our members or liquor traders in general.Lucky Ntimane, Convener National Liquor Traders Council
Ntimane says the liquor industry needs to respect the laws of the country and that they understand the frustrations many business owners are facing. He pleaded for them to hold on and try to look at other alternatives before making the decision of forcing their way like the taxi industry did to the government or protesting.
Ntimane says they are trying their best to raise R100-million by asking corporates and the liquor industry to support liquor traders.
Listen below for the full interview...
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