SAB set to contest constitutionality of alcohol sales re-ban in court

Following the re-ban of the sales, production and distribution of alcohol in South Africa, the South African Breweries has announced plans to challenge the constitutionality of the South African government’s latest alcohol ban.

The company made the announcement in a published statement on Wednesday 6, 2021 stating: “SAB has formed part of the fabric of SA for the last 125 years & we’ve stood behind the nation through its triumphs & challenges. After much consideration, SAB has decided to approach the courts to challenge the Constitutionality of the decision taken to re-ban the sale of alcohol.”

In December 2020, SAB contested the ban imposed on the sales and distribution of alcohol beverages in the country, stating that the ban would be putting over 1 million livelihoods across its value chain at risk. The ban was imposed by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa as the Covid-19 pandemic reports surged again in December.

South African Breweries expressed its support for all lawful measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, including the earlier curfew to limit movement, reduce indoor and outdoor capacity at gatherings, measured alcohol restrictions by channel, and heightened law enforcement, but strongly disagrees with another ban on the sale of alcohol.

“As seen with the last two bans, the unintended consequences of an outright ban on the sale of alcohol are dire. Over 165,000 people have already lost their jobs with a further 100,000 people moving into poverty as a result of the alcohol bans. We have seen large and small businesses severely impacted, billions of Rand lost in taxes, the entrenchment of illicit trading and the looting of alcohol stores,” SAB added.

The company called on the government to work closely with the alcohol industry to enable an earliest possible lifting of the ban on alcohol sales in order to collaborate in finding lawful and sustainable solutions that assist in fighting the covid-19 pandemic, and also implored South African consumers and traders to be safe and responsible.


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