SAB halts beer production amid extended alcohol ban


South African breweries have stopped producing beer.

The country’s largest beer maker, South African Breweries (SAB), has halted all production following the extension of the government-imposed alcohol ban under lockdown regulations.

The government instituted the ban in late June as South Africa was hit by a deadly third wave of Covid-19 to keep hospital beds available for Covid-19 patients and free from trauma cases alcohol-related. The ban was extended on July 10.

“As SAB enters [a sales] ban, it implements an orderly liquidation process by which the brews [that] are underway are completed and no new brewing is being started, ”the company told Fin24.

The brewer added that he could not confirm whether this would lead to shortages once the ban was lifted, but said it exacerbated the pressure on the industry.

SAB also confirmed that its depot in Pietermaritzburg had been looted and “left bare”, while its depot in Denver in Johannesburg suffered minor damage.

Brewer Carling Black Label added that one of its dispensers was also looted, resulting in vehicle damage and loss of stock. The company is assisted by the police, private security companies and the South African National Defense Force to ensure the security of its assets.

SAB is not the only alcohol producer to have been affected by the looting, on Wednesday evening the distribution center of savannah maker Distell in New Germany, Durban, was attacked for the second time.

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