Call to end booze sales ban after SAB shelves another R2.5bn investment

The Democratic Alliance has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government to end the economically crippling alcohol ban with immediate effect.

DA MP, Dean Macpherson, made the call on Friday after South African Breweries announced the cancellation of a further R2.5bn in new investments.

BusinessTech reported that these investments would have been for upgrades to operating facilities, product innovation, operating systems, as well as the installation of new equipment at selected plants.

It said SAB’s cancelled capital expenditure came to R5 billion since the first alcohol ban was introduced last March.

The cancellation of investment comes after SAB  announced plans to challenge the constitutionality of South Africa’s latest alcohol ban in court, Business Tech said.

Meanwhile, Macpherson said it was abundantly clear “that this ill-thought ban is having devastating economic consequences for South Africa.

“So far it is estimated that 165 000 people have lost their jobs due to successive alcohol bans. South Africans are paying with their lives and their jobs because President Ramaphosa and his Ministers have not done what they promised us they would do,” he said.

Macpherson said what made matters worse was that that there is “zero financial support for these businesses because the government chose to bail out Eskom and SAA over our businesses.”

He said South Africa has already lost billions of Rands in revenue during the last two alcohol bans which contribute to funding hospitals, nurses and doctors.

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