Government given ultimatum on further alcohol bans for South Africa

South African Breweries (SAB) says it will consider its decision to cancel investments in the country if the government provides commitments around its future lockdown regulations and alcohol sales.

Speaking to the Sunday Times Richard Rivett-Carnac, AB InBev’s VP of finance, legal and corporate affairs for the rest of Africa, said that this includes a ‘firm and binding commitment’ from the government not to reintroduce the ban on the sale of alcohol.

The group also wants more certainty about the long-term alcohol regulatory framework in South Africa.

Rivett-Carnac said the company understands that restrictions on people’s movements and on gatherings could be required, but it wants an undertaking that an outright alcohol ban will not be reimposed.

“Last year the impact was devastating and we didn’t trade for months and months, so you can imagine a business of our size with our fixed-cost base, with zero revenue coming in, the impact was very material on our business last year.

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