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Former Shoprite CEO joins court battle against alcohol ban - Govt is too slow!

6 August 2020 7:36 PM
Tags:
Alcohol ban
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Whitey Basson
Lockdown
COVID-19
alcohol industry
Southern African Agri Initiative
wine industry
SAAI

Bruce Whitfield interviews Whitey Basson, who believes it's just not good enough for govt to say ban will be lifted but not when.

As thousands of jobs remain in jeopardy due to the continuing ban on alcohol sales, the regulation will be challenged in court this month.

The Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) is bringing the court action, together with other applicants from the wine industry.

RELATED: Despairing wine farmers to battle Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in court on 18 August

If the ban on the transport and sale of alcohol is not lifted soon, 90% of wine farmers will face bankruptcy and about 350 000 people working in the industry will not be able to put food on the table.

Southern African Agri Initiative

They've roped in former Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson, who produces wine himself, but just for his table he says.

Basson tells The Money Show he's signed an affidavit detailing what the effect of the ban will be on the economy.

I agree with government in terms of hand washing, social distancing, wearing of masks and I think that they have a difficult task but what I don't agree with is that when someone gets figures and facts put to them, that it can't be shared with us what is the cause of the decision that government takes...

Whitey Basson, Former Shoprite CEO

... and being a country with a culture of disagreeing and that we can appoint or ask a person that's neutral to the argument like a judge, to ask 'Who's right and who's wrong?'.

Whitey Basson, Former Shoprite CEO

We can't carry on where there's half the people fighting it [the ban] and half the people are saying it's fine!

Whitey Basson, Former Shoprite CEO

RELATED: Heineken 'in discussions to protect livelihoods but at the same time save lives'

Basson says it's simply not good enough for government to say the ban will be lifted, with no further detail provided.

You have to think ahead and say, when is tourism starting in South Africa? Is there really a problem with hospital beds in certain areas? Because those will determine your decision with regards to the alcohol ban...

Whitey Basson, Former Shoprite CEO

My opinion is that government is slow in at least giving us an indication of the date... Tell us when it is!

Whitey Basson, Former Shoprite CEO

I have lots of people that phone me every day to help them in their financial distress and I think government should be open with the people.

Whitey Basson, Former Shoprite CEO

Basson says he has some understanding that bars with social distancing problems are not allowed to serve alcohol but it's "just silly" to expect wine farms not to sell wine.

It is impossible for a wine farmer or a restaurant to survive if they can't serve liquor!

Whitey Basson, Former Shoprite CEO

Listen to the conversation on The Money Show:


6 August 2020 7:36 PM
Tags:
Alcohol ban
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Whitey Basson
Lockdown
COVID-19
alcohol industry
Southern African Agri Initiative
wine industry
SAAI

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