The National Traders Liquor Council wants financial relief for tavern owners. It insists it wasn’t consulted about the recent suspension of alcohol sales. President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement on Sunday.
The council says there will be dire consequences for its more than 34,000 tavern owners and shebeen permit holders.
“We want the president to consider a R20,000 once-off payment to tavern owners,” the council’s Lucky Ntimane said.
“We also want there to be a moratorium on license fees.”
Ntimane said the council wants an urgent meeting with Ramaphosa.
“Surely he cannot ignore a sector that contributes over 6 percent of the economy,” Ntimane said.
The suspension of alcohol sales is having a devastating impact on small and medium businesses.
Without a clear indication of how long the suspension will remain, tavern owners say they’ll have to find another means of making a living.