From patrols to cutting off supplies: Beer body rolls out 'no-nonsense' interventions to curb Covid

The Beer Association of SA has a plan to limit the spread of the coronavirus. File photo.
The Beer Association of SA has a plan to limit the spread of the coronavirus. File photo.
Image: 123RF/KZENON

As the country continues to battle with the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase of daily cases, the Beer Association of SA (Basa) has rolled out “no-nonsense” interventions to help limit the spread of the virus.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced new alcohol regulations. Alcohol sales at retail outlets are restricted to Mondays to Thursdays between 10am and 6pm, with immediate effect.

“On-site consumption of alcohol at licensed establishments is not permitted after 10pm. No consumption of alcohol is permitted in public spaces such as parks and beaches,” said Ramaphosa.

Here is what you need to know about the interventions introduced by Basa:

500 patrollers across SA 

Basa CEO Patricia Pillay said the alcohol industry intends to ensure that alcohol is sold and consumed under the strictest safety conditions as the country enters the second wave of Covid-19 infections.

According to EWN, Pillay said the industry would deploy about 500 patrollers across the country to ensure Covid-19 compliance in liquor outlets.

“Around the country, these 500 patrollers, you will see the visible presence of people walking around going into the taverns, shebeens, and restaurants. And when you see them, please be aware that they will be reporting the institutions to the licence boards etc,” she said.

Cutting off supplies

In a statement, Pillay said outlets that do not adhere to the regulations will have their supplies cut off.

“The beer industry will maintain its zero-tolerance approach towards non-compliant businesses by cutting off supply to those outlets and establishments that have had their licences revoked by provincial liquor authorities,” said Pillay.

Provide training

To ensure businesses are compliant, Pillay said the association will provide training and guidelines to outlets across the country.

“This includes the rollout of 50,000 educational posters to establishments.

“Members have also visited businesses across the country to ensure they are compliant. These oversight visits will continue over the festive season,” she said.

Encouraging online purchases

Pillay said Basa members have also partnered with other role players to launch a number of “click-and-collect platforms”.

The platforms, she said, will allow customers to place their orders online or via SMS and pick up their purchases at a designated time, and in this way minimise crowds at outlets.

Two of these platforms are the Firsti USSD click-and-collect service that allows customers to buy their beer from their local tavern via SMS and the Hola Club website and smartphone app.

Whistle-blowing

Pillay urged consumers to report all incidents of criminality linked to the sale of alcohol. This includes outlets that are not enforcing the wearing of masks and proper social distancing, as well as trading after curfew.

“We continue promoting the toll-free hotline (0800-014-856), which citizens can call to report incidents of criminality linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol,” said Pillay.

“We encourage consumers to call the hotline to report businesses who are failing to ensure the health and safety of customers, so these establishments can be reported to the relevant enforcement authorities for further investigation.” 

Basa's basic safety advice for alcohol outlets and consumers.
Basa's basic safety advice for alcohol outlets and consumers.
Image: Basa

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