Staff Reporter – The Zimbabwe Daily
Pretoria, South Africa – Following the suspension of the sale and distribution of alcohol by the government more than two weeks ago, much of South Africa’s liquor traders are now crying foul.
Prior to the suspension, the country’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, didn’t give a heads up like what he did with the first suspension. The suspension was instigated immediately after he announced it.
This has left many liquor traders in limbo especially the tavern owners who operate mainly in the townships.
“Most tavern owners rely on alcohol sales as this is their only source of income. Already 50 percent of the tavern owners have said they won’t be able to reopen their taverns when the suspension is lifted due to financial constraints.
Government is not caring it’s not listening to us COVID-19 is going to pass and people are going to be left without a source of income, government is not being considerate.
However, we have decided to raise R100 million (US$6 million) for our members since the government is not willing to assist us.
We hope to give each tavern owner a relief package of R20 000 (US$1 200) and groceries for three months,” said Lucky Ntimame, Convenor of the National Traders Council of South.
Prior to the suspension, many tavern owners had already stoke piled their liquor with some having had to borrow funds to purchase the stoke which has now left them in a huge financial impediment.
According to the government, the suspension of the distribution and sale of liquor is aimed at unburdening the country’s trauma and ICU units.