"The ban is going to have a devastating impact on the millions of livelihoods the industry supports, which includes small businesses, and we fear they may not recover this time around. During the nine week lockdown we already saw over 100 000 jobs lost in the industry.”
She says the short notice given by the government also served to exacerbate the situation.
"Consultation with the government is very critical and we saw the success of this when we opened the industry after nine weeks of lockdown with no incidents.
“This time the industry was not consulted and were given no warning about the ban. The short notice was not only a major blow to many businesses and workers who were expecting to go to work on Monday, but poses major logistical challenges for suppliers, distributors and retailers.
"Many liquor stores are in high-risk areas and we have already seen looting taking place.”
Salba CEO Kurt Moore agrees that the ban will have serious economic consequences.
"As legally compliant businesses, we will comply with the latest regulations from the government. However, the president's announcement was not consulted with the industry and there are many unintended consequences we are grappling with, many online orders were already placed and now have to be cancelled.
“Job losses are looming and the government will lose revenue. The only winners in this scenario are illicit alcohol traders.”