Pick n Pay chair Gareth Ackerman has slammed the government for repeatedly banning booze sales since the Covid-19 outbreak began in early 2020, claiming that the government is not basing lockdown decisions on evidence, which is harming SA's economy.
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Because alcohol has been widely available on the underground market, there is a "wealth of evidence" to suggest that alcohol sales prohibitions have little or no good impact as a public health policy to reduce the spread of Covid-19, according to Ackerman. Business leaders and the liquor sector have chastised the government for its handling of lockdown laws.
Pick n Pay is concerned, according to Ackerman, that the national disaster declaration, which has been extended for another month until November 15, is being "used by segments of the government to address liquor policy issues without submitting to constitutional processes."
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"The imposition of liquor restrictions in advance of local elections is concerning. "Rather than imposing further limits on citizens' rights, we need to focus on getting the country vaccinated," Ackerman said at Pick n Pay's half-year results presentation on Wednesday.
He has urged the government to "hear the evidence" and "avoid the temptation" to impose additional limitations on the sale of alcohol, claiming that doing so would have "an enormous negative impact on jobs, the economy, and trust in our Covid response." The alcohol limitations were particularly hard on Pick & Pay, which sells liquor in addition to food, home goods, and clothing.
In addition to the 209 trading days lost in 2020, Pick n Pay's liquor company lost 55 trading days during the Level 4 shutdown.
Further alcohol sales prohibitions, according to Ackerman, will hurt not only Pick & Pay's operations, but also the entire alcohol industry, which employs roughly one million people across the value chain (from manufacturing to point of sale) and pays R72 billion in taxes to the government each year.
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Pic n Pay was able to exist without the sale of alcoholic beverages, so there's no reason to feel awful for them. When Pic n Pay entered the market, I'm curious how many little bottle shops went out of business. Furthermore, alcohol misuse, which is on the rise in this country, floods our hospitals with victims of violence and vehicle accidents, which is why it is illegal.
The true mystery is why food is so expensive while we have some of the world's cheapest drinks! Alcohol should be charged similarly to gasoline in order to cover the costs of all the hospital care and misery it causes. I'm curious as to how much the liquor sector contributes to the ANC.
# source https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-10-20-alcohol-ban-ahead-of-possible-covid-19-fourth-wave-in-december-will-be-crippling-warns-pick-n-pays-ackerman/
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