Pretoria - The National Liquor Traders' (NLT) campaign against further bans on the sale of alcohol during the Covid-19 lockdowns by the government was taken to the City of Tshwane, where it received support from local tavern and shebeen owners.
This was during a rally hosted in Mamelodi, where the liquor traders converged to reiterate their stance against further bans on the sale of alcohol.
NLT in collaboration with the Concerned Tshwane Liquor Traders Association used the rally to express their support to the government's vaccination drive.
NLT convenor Lucky Ntimane called on tavern and shebeen owners to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and also to encourage their staff and patrons, including older men hesitant to get vaccinated, to also do the same thing.
Participants at the rally also highlighted the need for maximum compliance to liquor licence conditions and Covid-19 safety protocols as the upcoming holiday season approaches.
Ntimane said: “As much as we are enjoying the freedom to trade within our liquor licence conditions, we have a responsibility to keep our patrons and communities safe. We are grateful to all our partners who ensured that our Tavern Rally was a success, and we want to highlight particularly the role played by South African Breweries in ensuring that the vaccination drive was a success.”
Regarding the campaign against the alcohol ban, he said: “The lifting of the alcohol bans has been a huge relief to taverners and is helping us to get back on our feet and bring our employees back to work after the devastating restrictions on our trade over the past year and a half.
“We are saying there should be no more bans on alcohol because our members have suffered enough and we are urging them to make taverns safe by getting as many tavern and shebeen permit holders, employees and patrons vaccinated as possible.”
In attendance was also Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Parks Tau, who said: “Vaccines are the best protection against Covid-19 and the more people we have vaccinated, the lower the risk of another devastating wave of Covid-19 infections.”
He added that vaccines will help to protect families, businesses and jobs.
Chief executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) said: “The TBCSA has been a key partner with the government in supporting vaccine registration and we’re happy to see liquor traders adding their voices to the call for people to get vaccinated.”
The SA National Taxi Council President Phillip Taaibosch expressed the support of the taxi industry behind the vaccination, saying taxi operators were in constant contact with the public and had a high risk of exposure to Covid-19.
"We further support the call by liquor traders that there should be no more bans on alcohol. Let’s put this pandemic behind us as quickly as possible by getting vaccinated,” Taaibosch said.